Elijah Vs. Jesus

Elijah Vs. Jesus

There is something about having the power to ‘react’ to a situation yet choosing NOT to ‘react negatively’ to the situation. Take for example; there was a time Elijah was to be captured by soldiers to be presented before the King of the land.

‘…Then he sent an army captain with FIFTY SOLDIERS to arrest him…’ (2King 1:9)

That army captain was feeling like a star soldier and said to Elijah who was sitting on top of a hill:

‘…Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down…’ (2Kings 1:9)

But Elijah is not a powerless man who you can just say you want to ‘catch’ anyhow. See what happened:

‘…But Elijah replied to the captain, “If I am a man of God, LET FIRE COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN AND DESTROY YOU AND YOUR FIFTY MEN!” Then fire fell from heaven and killed them all…’ (2Kings 1:10)

Elijah was just a man with no cool at all. You touch him, you touch fire. In fact the king sent another set of 50-man ‘battalion squad’ to capture Elijah. The captain of this team was so sure of himself that he even added ‘quickly’ to the order he gave to Elijah:

‘…O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down QUICKLY…’ (2Kings 1:11)

The Message Bible even brings out the captain’s order in a more interesting way:

‘… “O Holy Man! King’s orders: Come down. And RIGHT NOW!”…’ (2Kinngs 1:11 MSG)

Elijah simply gave him a ‘right now’ fire response:

‘…And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and CONSUMED him and his fifty…’ (2Kings 1:12)

Oh boy! With Elijah, there is ‘no dull’ moment! But it became more interesting when the King still sent another set of 50 men ‘Rapid Response Regiment’ to go and capture Elijah! I want to believe the king must have used his best squad for this third operation. But the captain of this team seems to have the ‘Nigerian blood’ flowing in his veins. Instead of saying ‘no’ to the king that he won’t go; he rather operated that ‘naija mentality’ to set himself free! The Bible says:

‘…But this time the captain went up the hill and FELL TO HIS KNEES BEFORE ELIJAH. He pleaded with him, “O man of God, please spare my life and the lives of these, YOUR fifty servants…See how the fire from heaven came down and destroyed the first two groups. But now please spare my life!”…’ (2Kings 1:13-14 NLT)

When the king sent him, he must have responded: YES SIR! But when he got to Elijah, he said his fifty-man squad was Elijah’s servants!

‘…please spare my life and the lives of these, YOUR fifty servants…’ (vs13)

I like that guy. It was because of this plea that Elijah did not call another ‘fire’ on that squad! Elijah had the power…and he used it powerfully!

What about Jesus? There was a time Jesus too was to be captured! In fact, the Bible describe those who came for him thus:

‘…a contingent of Roman SOLDIERS and Temple guards…’ (John 18:3 NLT)

And just in case you think they came armless, the Bible further explained that they came… ‘…with BLAZING torches, lanterns, and WEAPONS…’ (John 18:3 NLT) In my mind, I’m like, this people have no fear! They actually came prepared to capture ‘GOD’! (not even Elijah).

Follow the story carefully and compare with that of Elijah.

‘…Then Jesus… went forward and asked them, “Who are you looking for?”… They answered him, Jesus from Nazareth…’ (John 18:4)

Hear the response Jesus gave to them:

‘…Jesus told them, “I AM.”…’ (John 18:5 ISV)

I AM? That name sounds very familiar! (Exodus 3:14) The King James Version renders the response of Jesus there as ‘I am he’, but they put the ‘he’ in that verse in italics to indicate it wasn’t there in the original version!

According to the Cambridge Bible Commentary on John 18:5, “The ‘he’ is not expressed in the Greek: and ‘I AM’ to Jewish ears was the NAME OF JEHOVAH.”

Wow! These guys came to capture GOD…not even Elijah! If it was Elijah that was at this point, they will all ROAST at that same point! But carefully read the next verse and see what happened to them when Jesus said ‘I AM’.

‘…AS SOON then as he had said unto them, I AM he, THEY WENT BACKWARD, AND FELL TO THE GROUND…’ (John 18:6)

I feel like worshipping this Saviour! See power in display. How dare you come with ‘arms’ to catch God! He has the power to ‘clear’ them immediately! But there is a difference between ‘He cannot’ react…and ‘He will not’ react!

See soldiers…brandishing their spears and swords……yet falling down backwards like jellyfish without ‘anybody’ pushing them! In fact, according to the account in Matthew, it was in this same place and very moment that Jesus said to Peter who reacted with a SWORD by cutting off the ears of one of the Temple guards that came along to capture Jesus:

‘…Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to MY FATHER, and he shall PRESENTLY GIVE ME MORE THAN TWELVE LEGIONS of angels?…’ (Matt 26:53)

Jesus was saying if I needed sword or reactive defense, I have enough heavenly soldiers who will handle this matter ‘quicker and better’ than you! Notice that Jesus used the word ‘legion’ for the angels. The word legion…refers to a ‘WARLIKE Roman military unit comprising of about 6000 soldiers’!

Just one Angel in 2Kings 19:35 cleared 185,000 Assyrian soldiers! Just one Angel struck Herod with a deadly ailment! (Acts 12:23) Now imagine Jesus calling for 12 LEGIONS (about 72,000 military soldiers) to do what Peter tried to do for His rescue.

Jesus didn’t need Peter’s feeble “ear-cutting” reaction at all. But guess what happened after they fell down? Jesus waited for them to GET UP AGAIN and presented Himself to be captured…in order to SAVE YOU!

‘…Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him…’ (John 18:12)

He even HEALED the guard who Peter cut off his ears! (John 18:10-11, Luke 22:50) Wow! That is Jesus for you!

By the covenant of the Law, Elijah would rather use his power to DESTROY…but in the mission of ushering in a new covenant, Jesus would rather use His power to SAVE you! Oh, when Jesus was told by James and John to ‘react’ to the Samaritans as Elijah would have done:

‘…Lord, wilt thou that we COMMAND FIRE to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as ELIAS DID?…’ (Luke 9:54)

Elijah may….but Jesus won’t!

‘…But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of…For the Son of man is not come TO DESTROY men’s lives, but TO SAVE them…’ (Luke 9:55)

I love that line: …not to DESTROY…but to SAVE…! That’s a choice. Read it carefully, it doesn’t say “the Son of man CANNOT destroy”. He is described as the Judge who is ‘…ABLE to SAVE and DESTROY…’ (James 4:12) But Salvation is ‘His mission’.

“the Son of man DID NOT come to destroy but to save”

He would always choose Salvation above Destruction. Not that He cannot destroy…but it’s that He would not destroy! (Matt 10:28, 2Thess 1:6,8)

Now listen carefully: To say God CANNOT destroy…is an ABERRATION of His personality! But saying God DOES NOT or WOULD NOT destroy… is an EXPRESSION of His personality!

Even His salvation plan, He has a choice!

‘…I FREELY lay down my life. And so I am free to take it up again. No one takes it from me. I lay it down of my OWN FREE WILL…’ (John 10:17-18 MSG)

His choice is to save you! (Heb. 10:9-10) And ensure you are eternally saved! (John 10:28-29)

By the covenant of the Law, Elijah would rather KILL …while by the covenant of Grace, Jesus would rather HEAL! Always remember, that one main purpose Jesus came was to switch covenants in your favour.

“…Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant IN ORDER TO PUT THE SECOND INTO EFFECT…” (Heb. 10:9)

That is your Saviour for you. Rejoice in His Salvation Heartbeat for you.


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