Sunday, February 22, 2009

2 Kings 2:10

Today's Old Testament was the story of Elijah's ascension. When Elijah and Elisha had crossed to the east side of the Jordan, with all those seminarians watching from the west side, Elisha said,

"Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me." So Elijah said, "You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless..."

Cathy asked during Bible class about that. Why is it a hard thing?

Pastor answered that all pastors speak God's word (which IS what the "portion of the spirit" is for in the first place!), but sometimes there are those who are especially gifted at preaching and teaching, through no strength of their own, purely as a gift of God's grace to the people to whom that pastor ministers.

There's something that he didn't say that I can say because I'm not a pastor. Some pastors have suffered greatly through circumstances with their own sinful flesh or with the world around them or with the accusations of Satan, "more than their share" it sometimes seems to the onlookers. It is these pastors who are especially broken and impotent and beggars before God. They know their own sin deeply and painfully and are dependent upon Jesus' mercy. Because they so desperately cling to God's grace alone, knowing NO merit in themselves, they are made able by the Spirit to preach Jesus, Jesus, only Jesus. Their weakness means that they have nothing to give of their own selves, and thus will never never never turn their people back to their own strength either. It's what Paul is saying in 2 Corinthians 11-12. So for the pastor to have a "double portion of the Spirit," he will most likely experience a double realization of his sin and weakness. And like Elijah said, that's hard.

Like as if the story of Elijah's ascension doesn't already bring to mind too much the events from six years ago, now I've got these thoughts rattling around in my mind too.

1 comment:

  1. nathan fischer2/23/2009 8:45 AM

    Huh... that's interesting... You kind of see that, too, in the way that Elisha cries out after Elijah is taken up. It was a hard thing for him to endure...