Elijah’s Spirit and John

I’ve been reading in 1 & 2 Kings lately about Elijah and Elisha. Man, what a story. These guys did some incredible things; taunting the prophets of Baal (1Ki 18:27&33-38), making axe heads float (2Ki 6:1-7), and curing and creating leprosy (2Ki 5:14 & 27). The author of 1 & 2 Kings just tells the stories. No explanation of why and there doesn’t appear to be a common thread holding the stories together.

Anyway, it got me thinking about John the Baptist. He was Elijah (Mat 11:13-14) but not the Elijah the people were expecting. In Malachi 4:5-6 it was prophesied that Elijah would return before the Messiah came. I think the people were expecting him to come with all the miracles he performed before. What he came with was not the miracles but the message. John was a fiery preacher calling the nation to repent.

So how could it be that John was Elijah? Well, Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit to be upon him (2Ki 2:9) and it was done for him. So it was (apparently) with John. John was not Elijah in person, but the “spirit” of Elijah.

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