“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”” – Matthew 18:1-3
Scripture reading: 2 Kings 5:14-19
Here is a work of God. Elisha wasn’t even present so he can’t take credit. The Jordan was the scene of God’s power in the past. Even the king of Israel recognized only God could cure a man of leprosy (v. 7). But there is more going on than physical cleansing. Leprosy is a picture of our spiritual malady and this cleansing can be seen as Naaman’s conversion. He has become like a little child in the same river in which our Lord was baptized.
Naaman’s internal transformation affected his life. He is humble, calling himself Elisha’s servant (v. 15). He is grateful, wishing to give his wealth, not as a payment, but as a present (v. 15). He confesses there is no God but God (v. 15). He pledges to worship only this God (v. 17) and shows spiritual sensitivity, wishing to honour the Lord while he continues to serve in the royal court. Naaman has been changed by the grace of God. He is the Old Testament equivalent of the Thessalonians who received the word and turned from idols to serve the living and true God (1 Thessalonians 1:9).
Naaman’s story has three distinct sections sectioned by the word “Go,” in v. 5, 10, and 19. It is really the odyssey of someone becoming a believer. He hears the gospel: there is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins. He believes the gospel: and sinners plunged beneath that flood. He goes in peace: lose all their guilty stains. Has Jesus said to you, “Go in peace”?
Suggestions for prayer
Thank God that He continues to save sinners sovereignly, and ask Him to show Himself mighty in the conversion of your family, neighbours and friends, and even to use you as an instrument of blessing.
Reverend John van Eyk has served as Senior Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church (United Reformed) in Lethbridge, Alberta since 2017.