While the life of Elijah is familiar to most Christians, the mission and ministry of his successor, Elisha, is not so well known—probably because of the great drama that surrounded Elijah’s service for the Lord. The majority of Elijah’s miracles were performed in the context of death and destruction, whereas the miracles of Elisha were mainly to do with healing and restoration.
It could therefore be argued that Elijah was primarily a prophet of judgement, whereas his successor was more a prophet of grace. If this is so, the story of Elisha’s life is very relevant to the times in which we live. Elisha prophesied in Israel during the ninth century BC as a shining light amid the darkness of idolatry and unbelief which prevailed at the time. We would therefore do well to follow his noble example as we seek to be witnesses for the Lord in our generation.
John Cheeseman went to school at Epsom College in Surrey and was converted to the Christian faith at the age of 17, during a Scripture Union houseparty. He studied Classics at Oxford University, before training for pastoral ministry at Trinity College, Bristol. He has served in churches all over the South East of England, most recently at Holy Trinity, Eastbourne, where he was the Vicar of a large town centre church, with a strategic ministry for visitors and holiday makers.
He has now left the pastoring of a single church, in order to concentrate on an itinerant ministry of Bible teaching, which is where his heart really lies. John is the author of 2 publications— Saving Grace (1997) and The Priority of Preaching (2006), (Banner of Truth Trust). He is married to Joy and they have three grown-up children: Peter, David and Cherry.