Elijah and Elisha (Christ and the Church)

One of the most interesting types hidden in the Bible is that of Elijah and Elisha. In the Jewish heritage there are three men who stand out because of their relationship with God and His miracle working power demonstrated through them.

These were:

  1. Moses
  2. Elijah
  3. Jesus
Note: These three were finally together on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17: 1-5). 

Elijah was one of three men who have ascended into heaven. These were:

  1. Enoch (Genesis 5: 24)
  2. Elijah (2 Kings 2: 11)
  3. Jesus
The interesting thing about Elijah is what happened when he was taken up into heaven. Before Elijah was taken up he asked his servant Elisha what he could do for him (2 Kings 2: 9). Elisha asked for a "double portion of your spirit which is upon me" (2 Kings 2:9).

When Elijah was taken up his mantle fell down to Elisha. When Elisha took up the mantle the Biblical account of Elisha's ministry begins. If we consider the account of Elijah and Elisha's ministries we see that Elisha performed twice as many miracles as Elijah.

Elisha did in fact receive a double portion of the Spirit.

This account is so much like the ascension of Christ that it is well worth exploring the parallels further.

We know that Jesus was "anointed" by the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38) and that Jesus Himself sent the Holy Spirit to His disciples on the day of Pentecost. In effect, Jesus allowed His "mantle" to fall to His disciples.

Interestingly, Jesus makes a very important point about this event himself. 

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also, and greater works than these he will do, because I go to the Father" (John 14:12). 
If we follow the parallel with Elijah and Elisha through to its logical conclusion we will agree that the Church in fact received a double portion of the Spirit which was upon Jesus. A very profound thought !!

Created: 23 - Jan - 1997.
Last modified: 18 - Sept - 1998.
Copyright © 1998, Graham Brodie.

Maintainer: Graham Brodie, Email