We have now completed our study of the content and context of 2 Kings 2:1-25 and have reviewed the commentaries and other literature. At this point we can move on to plan a sermon that explains and applies this text.
1. Write out the main thought of the text.
I would say the main thought of 2 Kings 2:1-25 is: God transfers his Spirit to Elisha, showing that Elisha is the true successor of Elijah as the bearer of God’s word of blessing and judgment.
2. Write out the purpose of the text.
The purpose of 2 Kings 2:1-25 appears to be the following: To show how God continues to provide his people with a prophet who speaks his word of blessing and judgment.
3. Review legitimate ways to preach Christ from the text.
As mentioned on the page, Step Six – Sermon Planning, Sidney Greidanus identifies seven ways to preach Christ from the Old Testament. These are: (1) the way of redemptive-historical progression; (2) the way of promise-fulfillment; (3) the way of typology; (4) the way of analogy; (5) the way of longitudinal themes; (6) the way of New Testament references; and (7) the way of contrast.
In 2 Kings 2:1-25 it appears that the transition from Elijah and Elisha is part of a redemptive-historical progression. It points back to the transition from Moses to Joshua and forward to the transition from John the Baptist to Jesus, and then from Jesus to the apostles. In each case, God continues to provide his people with a prophet or agent who speaks his word of blessing and judgment.
One might also say that Elisha is a type of Christ. His ministry of blessing for God’s people points forward to Christ’s ministry of blessing in the New Testament. Luke 4:24-27 provides support for this. In that passage, Jesus is speaking to people in his hometown of Nazareth. He says that just as Elijah and Elisha had ministries that blessed people outside of Israel rather than in it, so his ministry will bless people outside of Nazareth rather than in it.
4. Decide how you will apply the text to your audience.
What do we share in common with those to whom (or about whom) the text was written?
We too want to be assured that God will continue to provide his people with Spirit-equipped agents who speak his word of blessing and judgment.
How should we respond to the truths in the text?
We should believe that God has provided us with Spirit-equipped agents who speak his word of blessing and judgment. He provided Christ and his apostles and provides preachers of his word today. We should give thanks for this and pay attention to his word.
What does God now require of us?
God wants us to honor Christ as our chief prophet, being thankful for God’s word of blessing that is spoken through him. God wants us to listen to his word attentively and study and apply the inspired Scriptures. If we have been inclined to mock Christ or his word, we should repent and look to him for forgiveness through his sacrifice on the cross.
Where does he require it of us?
If we haven’t believed in Christ, we may have mocked him in jokes or on the Internet. We should repent of such mockery, trust in Jesus Christ and look to him for forgiveness.
If we have believed in Christ, we have been blessed with life through the gospel and should be thankful. We should gratefully receive his word. We should listen attentively to the word preached. We should study and apply the word in our daily lives.
Why does he require it?
God’s word is the word of our almighty Creator and Redeemer. It is a great blessing that he has provided us with Christ our chief prophet, who spoke his word of blessing and judgment through the apostles and speaks through preachers today.
How can we do what he requires?
We can give thanks in personal and corporate worship for Christ our prophet and the Spirit-equipped agents of God’s word. We can listen attentively to God’s word as it is preached and spend time in personal Bible study, memorization and application. We can repent of any tendency to mock or despise those agents of his word whom God has sent.
4. Write out the main thought and purpose of the sermon.
The main thought of the sermon: In his grace God has provided us with Jesus Christ, his apostles and other Spirit-equipped agents who speak his word of blessing and judgment.
The purpose of the sermon: To show the congregation that God has provided us with Spirit-equipped agents who speak his word of blessing and judgment, so that they will honor them, be grateful for them, and hear and apply God’s word.
5. Develop a coherent sermon outline.
I suggest the following as a sermon outline.
I. The Continuing Presence of God’s Word
A. God removes one agent of his word.
B. God equips another agent of his word.
II. The Continuing Power of God’s Word
A. God shows that his word has power to heal.
B. God shows that his word has power to harm.
Greidanus, Sidney. Preaching Christ from the Old Testament: A Contemporary Hermeneutical Method. Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999. 227-276. ↑