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  • Writer's pictureElpidio Pezzella

Prepare Disciples

And the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See now, the place where we dwell with you is too small for us."

(2 Kings 6:1 NKJV)

Elisha had other disciples around him besides Gehazi. He lives with a part of these, who have left everything to be prepared by him. The place, however, is too small, because the desire of other disciples to join is so great, since they recognize tin the prophet, the Lord who is alive . Whenever the need arises to enlarge the pavilions, it is a beautiful thing. Another reality, however, are the cathedrals in the desert, immense constructions with small groups of believers. I believe that the spaces must be commensurate with the participants. A characteristic sign of a healthy ministry is discipleship, that is, the presence of disciples prepared to continue the work over time, since no one in charge is immortal. And the saga of Elijah and Elisha teaches us this! I hope that everyone can be part of a healthy work where, beyond the contingent problems, we can see that the Lord lives in people who give themselves to honor the divine call. Faced with such examples, the confession will be: “I will not leave them! I will not leave the Lord, I will not leave the ministry”. For those who feel tight, the words of the disciples could be adapted: "Let us go as far as the Jordan, there we will take a beam and we will make a place for you to live there". They do not want to demolish the work, but have asked Elisha for permission to get wood and build another house, where the prophet continues to stay with them. Having received the consent, one of the disciples invites the prophet to go with them. Elisha accepts and goes, guiding and supporting them.

In a path of discipleship, the student will always want the teacher beside him, not because he does not trust his own abilities, but because he will need approval. Elisha had previously handed his staff to Gehazi, just as confirmation, a token of recognition. The young disciples then went to chop wood and while one of them was cutting down a log his ax fell into the water. He imagines the danger faced by those around him. The main risk of inexperience is that, when you rely too heavily on your abilities, you can deal a fatal blow to those nearby. We also discover that the iron that fell into the water was not the disciple's, in fact the disciple started shouting: "Ah, my Lord I had borrowed it". The ax, therefore, was not his. To carry out a service, you need to use your own skills. What one does must be the work of one's own hands, and what one brings into service, even if little, must be part of one's life. The tools used must then be known, and not used only to show others to handle them.

The prophet Elisha demonstrates the Lord who lives in him by doing something inconceivable, that is, he cuts a piece of wood with his ax, and throws it into the water. Where the prophet threw the wood, the lost ax rose to the surface. Some explain what happened by claiming that the piece of wood was pulled so hard that it hit the ax and pulled it back up. Scripture states that where the wood was thrown the iron rose up. A plausible explanation, in my opinion, is that the teacher, the senior minister, is the one who sets the example. There are things that cannot be explained. Only by observing does he take note of it and treasure it, and then ask the Lord to enable us to make it happen. This is why I hope that the Elisha of our time will have full consciousness and divine wisdom to form and involve more and more disciples, manifesting the Eternal who lives. From here is born, then, that bond that allows you to feel one part of the other. Let us remember that “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; thereforepray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest" (Luke 10:2).

Weekly Bible Reading

Plan # 25 June 14, Ezra 9-10; Acts 1 June 15, Nehemiah 1-3; Acts 2:1-21 June 16, Nehemiah 4-6; Acts 2:22-47 June 17, Nehemiah 7-9; Acts 3 June 18, Nehemiah 10-11; Acts 4:1-22 June 19, Nehemiah 12-13; Acts 4:23-37 June 20, Esther 1-2; Acts 5: 1-21


Photo by Michael Faes,

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