2 Kings 2:5-6 And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that theLordwill take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace. And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for theLordhath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As theLordliveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on.”

We all know the story of Elijah and Elisha. The choosing of an heir. The passing of a mantle. One Man of God training another for the ministry. However, I find it curious that Elisha never had an Elisha. Elisha had plenty of young men to choose from- a group known as the “sons of the prophets” in our Bible. However, upon reading every reference to Elisha’s ministry you will discover that NONE of them are mentioned as taking up Elisha’s Mantle! You will also see numerous instances where they caused problems and complained and the man of God had to bail them out!

I believe the difference between Elisha and the sons of the prophets is found here: “And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel. And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace. And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho. And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace. And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on. And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan.” II Kings 2:1-7

As a young preacher, Elisha clave to an Elijah! While the others stood afar off and watched, he took the time to follow a seasoned man of God! I do not know who the sons of the prophets chose to follow, but if you follow the narrative outlined in II Kings you will discover that they only interacted with Elisha when they needed the man who had God’s touch!

Now, let us fast forward to the 21st century. From what I have observed, many young preachers are leaving this model of finding an Elijah. Instead they are trying to make a name for themselves or they are following another 30-something (who is trying to make a name for himself!). 

I do not understand the current obsession with following, reading, and choosing young men as your mentors! Please do not misunderstand my point- I am thankful for every young preacher that is serving God! There are many gifted young preachers that do have successful ministries. I am a firm believer in young preachers authoring books and trying to help as many people as we can! I am for supporting other preachers in my age bracket and co-laboring with them. However, I find it foolish to discard the seasoned men of God to follow someone in our peer group! 

There is much more that could be said! Timothy had Paul. Elisha had Elijah. Samuel followed Eli, not Eli’s sons. Young Preacher, let me encourage you to find some Elijahs and cleave to what they are trying to give you!

James Young

Church Planter | Jasper, IN