2 Kings 3 – 2 Kings 8
I’ve been reading all about the prophet, Elisha in these chapters. Elisha had asked Elijah for twice as much prophetic power as Elijah before Elijah was taken to heaven. His wish was clearly granted. Elisha predicted Israel’s victory, provided oil miraculously for a widow to pay off her husband’s debt, predicted that a woman would have a baby and when her child died later, he prayed and the child came back to life. Then Elisha made a poisonous stew edible, helped Naaman the leper get healed in the infamous story where Naaman’s instructions were to wash in the Jordan River seven times, made an axe head float, captured an army and Elisha predicted the end of the famine.
Reading about all these miracles reminds me of the scripture in Matthew 16:1-4, where the Pharisees and the Sadducees ask Jesus for a miracle. Jesus had been healing people, raising people from the dead and feeding thousands and still people wanted him to prove himself. The religious leaders put these miracles down to coincidence, trickery or even evil power, but believed that it was only God who could do a sign in the sky. Jesus did not rise to this challenge as he knew the religious leaders had already decided not to believe in him. This is why he said:
‘This evil, unbelieving nation is asking for some strange sign in the heavens, but no further proof will be given except the miracle that happened to Jonah.’
In mentioning Jonah, who was inside a great fish for three days, Jesus was predicting his death and resurrection. He says this in Matthew 12:38-42 as well:
‘One day some of the Jewish leaders, including some Pharisees, came to Jesus asking him to show them a miracle.
But Jesus replied, “Only an evil, faithless nation would ask for further proof: and none will be given except what happened to Jonah the prophet! For as Jonah was in a great fish for three days and three nights, so I, Messiah, shall be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.”
This is indeed the real miracle, that those who believe in Jesus and turn from their sins can be saved from death and get to go to heaven because of what Jesus did on the cross.
It doesn’t matter how you came to know Jesus; whether you grew up in a Christian home and went to Church from an early age or had a Damascus experience like Paul in Acts; becoming and being a true Christian, born-again is one amazing miracle which never stops. The life that Jesus gives is truly miraculous.