September 26, 2019
"Why did that madman come to you?" This is the question Jehu's fellow army officers ask in today's Old Testament reading from 2 Kings 9. The "madman" in question in this case is a young prophet who was commanded by Elisha to anoint Jehu as the next king of Israel. Jehu's fellow soldiers mocked the young prophet as a madman before they even realized how dangerously crazy his mission really was. The prophetic action was a bold challenge to the rule of king Joram over Israel. Had Joram's forces known of the prophet's mission, they would have charged him with sedition. Indeed, this young prophet's action of anointing Jehu would turn the kingdom of Israel upside down (see 2 Kings 10).
Christians today might find themselves in a similar position to this young prophet. We proclaim that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ (the Anointed) Lord, a message that led the Apostle Paul to similarly be charged with madness (Acts 26:24) and sedition (Acts 17:7). In 2 Kings 9, once Jehu tells the truth of what the prophet said to him, Jehu's men stop mocking the prophet's message and honor Jehu as king. It took time until his reign over Israel became complete, but the transformation began with their acceptance of the prophet's message. Similarly, we can be confident that the proclamation of Jesus as Lord, though it may seem madness to the world, will be proven true. One day, "every knee will bow . . . and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" (Philippians 2:10-11). Let us pray and act in that hope today, even if it seems like madness to the world.
Grace and Peace,