6/13/15: Passing the Mantle

UnknownWe read in 2 Kings chapter 2 of the prophet Elijah’s translation into heaven and the inauguration of his servant, Elisha, as the next prophet in his stead. Elijah knew he was leaving so he said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha answered, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me” II Kings 2:9 (NKJ). Elijah’s response to Elisha was, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so” II Kings 2:10.

Sure enough, Elisha witnessed the chariot and horses of fire that came from heaven and took Elijah up in a whirlwind. Then it’s important for us to see what Elisha did next. “…he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces. He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him…” II Kings 2:12b -13a. After this, Elisha immediately began to operate in his new calling, God demonstrating through him the answer to his request to have received a double portion of the spirit that was on Elijah.

We don’t talk much these days about the passing of mantles; nowadays we refer to this kind of thing as “leaving a legacy.” The two are very different though. Whereas a legacy is defined as “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past,” a mantle is the transmittal or the passing on of a spiritual heritage. Legacy comes through people to us; mantle comes from God through people to us.

We have a responsibility to live out the spiritual heritage – to take up the mantle – that has been passed to us from God by the generations before us. I’ve heard lots of people say that they are only here today because of the prayers of their fathers, mothers, grandfathers, and grandmothers. If we would look intently at those precious old saints, we’d see that they did more than pray for us. They worked diligently for the Lord in their church or in their own ministries, read their Bibles daily, and distributed to the necessities of other saints. They left of us an example of how to work as a child of God.

What are we doing about the mantle that has been left for us? Like Elisha, it’s long about time that we tore off our own “clothes” – our own ideas about what we want to do with our lives – and don the mantle God has left for us to wear. That mantle has been lovingly and diligently prayed over and worn by our spiritual progenitors. Let’s take up the mantle and live out the spiritual heritage expected of us.

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©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

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~ by sanewriter on June 13, 2016.

One Response to “6/13/15: Passing the Mantle”

  1. Passing on a Spiritual heritage is a very difficult endeavor. We cannot force our relationship with Jesus Christ onto anyone or change anyone in any way. The person must be open to hear and ponder the message of salvation that flows from God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ, Himself, was exposed to unsaved loved one’s. Just look to the crucifixion and we are told that Jesus Christ in excruciating pain and suffering looked on those around the cross and passed the mantle of His mother’s care onto His beloved disciple-John. Where were His siblings? What had happened to His step-father-Joseph?

    Jesus Christ knew that He must endure the crucifixion and experience death and burial to complete His mission from God. During His post-resurrection appearances to His disciples He diligently pursued the passing of His Holy mantle to His followers. He told His followers to remain in Jerusalem until His Father sent the Holy Spirit to indwell all those who believed that Jesus Christ is all He claims to be. Through the action of the Holy Spirit the true Church (the Body of Jesus Christ with Jesus Christ at the Head) was initiated in Jerusalem. The mantle for the initiation of the Church was passed to Peter, who on the morning before Jesus’ crucifixion denied that he knew Christ. Peter delivered an outstanding message to the people in Jerusalem that identified who Jesus Christ is. On that day alone over 3000 people decided to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Subsequently, the other disciples as well as devout followers picked up the evangelical mantle to share the Good News.

    Consider the location and the people involved in this passing of the mantle. The location was Jerusalem, where only about 40 days earlier, people were shouting Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Now these same people (mostly Jews) we flocking to hear Peter’s message about the Messiah.
    Note the timing also and the reality that there were people from all over the then known world present in Jerusalem. Partly because many people were still present from Passover and Jerusalem was a cosmopolitan trading center with great interaction of people from many nations .
    Also recall that the sign that Pilate had his soldiers placed over Jesus’ head was written in three languages: Aramaic, Greek, and Latin. The Jews from all over the world could read this sign and ponder if this truly was the Messiah. The Jews returned to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover and had been scattered all over the world because of invading militaries. The dispersion of Jews resulted in synagogues being built in virtually all cities visited by Paul. This facilitated his mission to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ as directed by Jesus Himself in Matthew 28. Here we see that the Holy Spirit was directly involved in the formation of the Church as He was in the authorship of Scripture.

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