In Luke 24, the risen Lord Jesus had a conversation with 2 disciples on a roadway. In that conversation, Jesus explained to the men how the whole of the Old Testament points toward him. Many Christians have said that it would have been so wonderful to have listened to that conversation. And I agree. I would love to have heard Jesus telling us how certain events in the Old Testament, even certain narratives, are actually hints about him and his glory.
I thought of this passage in my daily reading as I came across a short little story in the life of Elisha. In the early chapters of 2 Kings, we get to see how the Spirit of God is on Elisha just as the Spirit was on Elijah. And God repeatedly shows in chapter 4 his presence in the ministry of Elisha through the miraculous.
1 Kings 4:42-44 – 42 A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. And Elisha said, “Give to the men, that they may eat.” 43 But his servant said, “How can I set this before a hundred men?” So he repeated, “Give them to the men, that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left.’ ” 44 So he set it before them. And they ate and had some left, according to the word of the Lord.
Here we have a miracle. There is a fairly large crowd, and an amount of food that is too small for them. There are loaves of bread, but not enough to satisfy the men. But Elisha orders the food to be passed out. And when it happens, there is enough for every man to eat and be satisfied. And there is some left over.
That miracle, in 2 Kings, shows that the Lord is with Elisha. It shows that the miraculous power of God is on him. And it is one of those hidden gems in the Old Testament where, once we have seen Jesus, we will realize that he is greater than all who went before him.
Of course we know that Jesus did a miracle like this one, but on a much grander scale. Jesus fed a crowd of 5,000 men, not counting women and children. He did so with only 5 loaves and 2 small fish. And in doing so, Jesus showed himself to be great. That miracle from Jesus showed that he has the Spirit of God, like Elijah and Elisha, but far more. Of course, it also shows that Jesus is the God who provides bread in the wilderness just like God provided the manna during the exodus.
Altogether, the beauty I see here is the reminder that the Bible is telling God’s story. The Bible is all about Jesus. Even the miracles of the prophets, even the ones we tend to forget, point us to the presence and power of God. These miracles remind us of the greater glory of Jesus.