It was transition day for the prophets in Israel. Elijah was going to die. Elisha was going to, as we would say, assume the mantle of leadership.
Elijah was told by God to go to Bethel, then to Jericho, then to the area past the Jordan. At each part of the journey, Elijah said, “Stay here.” Each time Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.”
When they got to the Jordan, Elijah smacked the water with his cloak like we would snap a towel. The river parted, the two men walked through. The river started flowing again.
Elijah asked what Elisha wanted from him. “A double portion of your spirit,” Elisha said.
“If you watch me when I’m taken from you, you will get it,” Elijah answered. And they walked and talked. Suddenly a chariot of fire came. Elijah was taken up. His cloak fell to the ground, his mantle.
Elisha tore his own tunic as a sign of grief. Elisha picked up the mantle, smacked the water with it like we would snap a towel, like Elijah did. “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he said.
It was time for him to find out whether he had even a single portion of Elijah’s spirit. Across the Jordan was a group of prophets from Jericho. They had watched Elijah and the Jordan. Now they were watching Elisha and the Jordan. So it was time for time to find out whether he had even a single portion of Elijah’s spirit.
The river parted. Elisha was the successor.
But in all the miracle and transition one thing stood out as I read this story last weekend. All the way to the end, the two men were walking and talking. Explaining and blessing. Being together not doing miracles.
Perhaps relationship all the way to the end is the biggest miracle.