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2 Kings 4:18-23

18 The child grew, and one day he went out to his father, who was with the reapers. 19 He said to his father, “My head! My head!”

His father told a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20 After the servant had lifted him up and carried him to his mother, the boy sat on her lap until noon, and then he died. 21 She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and went out.

22 She called her husband and said, “Please send me one of the servants and a donkey so I can go to the man of God quickly and return.”

23 “Why go to him today?” he asked. “It’s not the New Moon or the Sabbath.”

“That’s all right,” she said.

Look at the responses of the father and the mother. Though I am a father of 2 boys, I have to admit that I sometimes don't understand the needs of my sons as clearly as my wife. In 2 Kings 4, the father sent the sick son to his wife. His wife knew what should be done when the son died on her lap. She did not tell her husband about their son's death (which I am puzzled. Was it because the husband did not have the same faith as she did? Was it because their communications were not that good. Don't know.)

When the wife left with a servant, the husband still got no idea of what was going on. Also, the husband could not relate her wife's request and action to the sickness of their son.

My comments: I think the fathers should pay attention to this section of bible and reflect on our marital relationship and parent-child relationship and our relation with God!!!

2 Kings 4: 25b-27

the man of God said to his servant Gehazi, “Look! There’s the Shunammite! 26 Run to meet her and ask her, ‘Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?’”

“Everything is all right,” she said.

27 When she reached the man of God at the mountain, she took hold of his feet. Gehazi came over to push her away, but the man of God said, “Leave her alone! She is in bitter distress, but the LORD has hidden it from me and has not told me why.”

Elisha was really the man of God (as described in 2 Kings). He knew the woman's distress before she even came to him as God had spoken to him already. Therefore, Elisha asked the woman if she, her husband and her son were alright.

2 Kings 4:31-35

31 Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the boy’s face, but there was no sound or response. So Gehazi went back to meet Elisha and told him, “The boy has not awakened.”

32 When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. 33 He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the LORD. 34 Then he got on the bed and lay on the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy’s body grew warm. 35 Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.

Elisah revived (with the help of God) the son. Compared this to John 11: Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Jesus only prayed and thanked God and called Lazarus, then Lazarus was risen.

(John 11: 41-43:

41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!")

Although Jesus was not the first 'person' who raised the dead, the bible reveals that Jesus did this with a supreme authority.

2 Kings 5:10 & 14

10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

I guessed Naaman was still angry (and partly unwilling) as he only 'dipped' himself as compared to Elisha's command to 'wash' seven times. But still the 'unwilling' Naaman got cured!!! God's grace was on Naaman because he still followed Elisha's command (though only partly. Anyway, we, Christians also sometimes obey Jesus partly. Would it make a difference if we, Christians, obey Jesus in full?)

Acts 15:1, 5, 24,
The Council at Jerusalem

1 Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.”

5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”

24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.

The disputes, the arguments between the Pharisees and Paul and Barnabas were due to, as the Letter written after the Jerusalem Council described, unauthorised people which did not belong to them (the apostles and elders). This acknowledgement is important: the disputes were not from God. These 'people' were not from God.

The Key elements of the success of the Jerusalem Council:

1) Unity in Christ

Acts 15:3

3 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad. 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.

Although Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles while, Peter, James and other apostles and elders were for the Jews, they were different. But they were one in Christ. They welcomed Paul and Barnabas when they went to Jerusalem. 'All the believers' were very glad, hearing the work of God via Paul and Barnabas. This showed their unity in Jesus as supposed to the 'unauthorized people' who were not glad at what Paul and Barnabas said and did; but instead they aroused disputes.

2) Collective Wisdom and confirmations

Acts 15:6, 7a, 12, 13

6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question.

7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them:...

12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them.

13 When they finished, James spoke up.

Peter spoke of his witness about the Gentiles receiving the Holy Spirit. Paul and Barnabas shared their witness of God's work via them to the Gentiles. James also spoke up.

3) Back to Jesus (not Moses!!!) and the Bible

Acts 15:10 -11, 15

15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:...

10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

Peter said that, we were saved through the grace of Jesus (as opposed to the 'unauthorised people' that it was due to Moses!)

James quoted the bible to support the decision (Amos 9:11,12).

In any disputes, we should go back to Jesus (not Moses) and the Bible (which directs us to Jesus)!

The requirements to the Gentiles:

Acts 15:28-29

28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.

I believe we should pay attention to this requirement in the Letter written by the Jerusalem Council for it summed up the laws of Moses that is applicable to the Gentiles.

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