Fifth Sunday in Lent

 Sermon Text: 2 Kings 4:17-37

 Other Readings: Romans 8:11-19 and John 11:17-27,38-45


  1. Look at the map to familiarize yourself with the region that our text took place in.

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  1. Why do you think that the Shunamite woman chose to call Elisha “a man of God” (v. 22)?
  2. Because of our Gospel Reading where Jesus raises Lazarus and because of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter, we often associate Jesus with the miracle of raising the dead. But according to our Second Reading from Romans 8:11-19, which person of the Trinity is also associated with the resurrection of the dead? (Confer especially Romans 8:11.)
  3. Compare and contrast the way that Jesus raised Lazarus in our Gospel Reading and the way that the Shunamite boy was raised.
  4. When we are raised from the dead, do you think it will be more like what happened to the boy or like what happened to Lazarus.


  1. Commentators note that the journey from Shunem to Mt. Carmel probably took about three or four hours.
  2. It was clearly a title of respect. She recognized that Elisha comes from God because he was sent by God to Israel. She recognized that Elisha’s authority comes from God because he was called by God.
  3. God the Holy Spirit is clearly mentioned as one who is directly involved with the resurrection of the dead. This is in large part why we speak about this topic in the third article of the Apostles’ Creed, the portion that deals with the Holy Spirit.
  4. There are a number of differences. First, Elisha is just a servant of God, but Jesus is God himself. Secondly, Elisha’s miracle took a couple of “rounds,” for whatever reason, but Jesus’ was immediate. Elisha lay on the boy, but Jesus simply spoke to Lazarus. The similarities include prayer by both Elisha and Jesus before the miracle. And, of course, the end result is the same–a dead person came fully back to life.
  5. The general resurrection of the dead on the Last Day will be different than both of these, but Scripture describes it in ways that are more similar to Lazarus’ resurrection. For instance, 1 Thessalonians 4:16 (NIV) says, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”