2 Kings 4:1-7. John 15:18-25.
Elisha establishes himself as the Prophetic successor to Elijah by numerous miracles, which clearly demonstrate that the Lord is with him in power. He brings life through fresh water, victory to battling armies, shame to a gang of youths…
This miracle is tender kindness to a desperate widow, who has nothing and no one else to turn to. She has to anticipate the miracle, trusting that the word of the prophet will in fact come to pass, as she asks her neighbours for empty bowls. Blessing fills them. Abundance.
John records Jesus’ words to his disciples that they will be hated. Jesus, the last of the prophets to Israel, had established his credentials by miracles. But unlike Elisha who spoke God’s particular words to a specific people and time, Jesus is the Word and person of God, speaking to all people for all time. Despite His many miracles, the world continues to hate him, and the Father, (v 24). Miracles don’t change hearts. This world – the world that God so loved that he sent His son – hates. Hates God and His representatives.
How deeply twisted is the human heart, and the world of us. Despite God’s place as Creator and Lord, we quest for the position of God. We seek our sovereignty, our rules. We forget God. We hate the authority of God over us. We want for ourselves what God alone has. It is Adam in the garden. It is at the core of our self centredness, greed, idolatry and discontent. We live in this sort of world…
Jesus, in His amazing love and Grace, has chosen us out of the world. We are desperate, have nothing and no one else to turn to. By His grace and power, the miracle of belonging to God occurs, our empty hearts are filled with blessing. We have no power, or goodness to bring about this change. Love, in abundance, comes from God, and will flow out of our hearts to God and each other.
So don’t be surprised by hatred, in the media, in your workplace, in your home or in your own heart. We live in this sort of world. Keep your eyes and heart turned to the grace of our Saviour.