Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things." Mark 9:12
On their way down from the mountain where they'd seen the glory of Jesus, and where they had seen Moses and Elijah, the disciples had some questions about Elijah. They had been taught since they were young that Elijah would come back in a dramatic way to prepare for the coming of the Messiah (Malachi 4:5-6). On the mountain, they saw clearly that Jesus was the Messiah. But where had Elijah been?
In response, Jesus said Elijah had come, and he was referring here to John the Baptist (see Matthew 17:13). But what did it mean that Elijah (or John, in the spirit of Elijah) would restore all things?
Elijah, along with Moses, was one of the great prophets in the history of God's people, Israel. Elijah's calling was to challenge people to give up false faith and religion and turn back (be restored) to God. Before he went up to heaven, Elijah passed along his mantle, or cloak, to Elisha, who would carry on this work in God's name (2 Kings 2). In the spirit of Elijah, John the Baptist brought the same message, calling people to repent and turn back to God (Luke 1:17).
In the spirit of Elijah, we also call men and women to prepare for Christ's coming into their lives. And we have more good news: Jesus has come, and all who believe in him as Savior can be restored to God.
Lord, we know that the fields are ripe for your harvest. Please help us to live out our calling to share the good news of Jesus with all who are around us. In Jesus' name, Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!