“And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” – Jesus Christ in Luke 4:27
You might remember the words above. They are from when Jesus was rejected in His hometown. The reference in His teaching, though, is from our passage today. 2 Kings 5 gives us the account of Naaman’s healing. Why is this a standout story in the Bible? My thoughts:
- Naaman was a Syrian, not an Israelite. God used him to bring about a Syrian victory. That doesn’t sound great for the people of Israel… well… because it wasn’t. But God is sovereign over the victories of even His people’s enemies, and these victories were often because of God’s disciplining of Israel.
- Naaman was an “untouchable”. The king wanted nothing to do with him. Leprosy was considered an “unclean” disease, and many felt it was a sign of sin & judgment. God chose to heal Naaman.
- Gehazi took what he wasn’t supposed to. He chased after payment. So now, the disease that was on a non-Jew was given to a Jew (we presume Gehazi was an Israelite). He had to deal with the consequences of his sinful decision, and this one choice would affect all of his descendants.
- The big picture. God heals people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. Naaman is us. God is gracious and welcomes undeserving people into his family. This story is a fitting reminder of that.
What jumped out at you from this passage? What do you think it must have been like for Elisha to be a part of this miracle? And Naaman: how humbling do you think it was to seek the God of Israel?
By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor