Summary: Naaman’s pride almost prevents a healing, but are we that different?
Most of us have the trappings of power and privilege: we live in one of the wealthiest countries with one of the highest standards of living. We live in an age our grandparents could never have dreamed of. We are not unlike Naaman in the story in 2 Kings 5. But he had to learn an important lesson; one we need to learn to : namely that the world isn’t ALL about either Naaman or us.
Naaman’s problem was that he was too proud & too important to be obedient to what the Prophet says was needed. Like many in the west, we expect important people to be do important things & be waited on by the lesser people. Yet that is not how the Prophet deals with him.
Elisha’s response to Naaman isn’t that unusual once you know how our God works through ordinary people in ordinary ways. If we keep that in mind we have a greater chance of encountering God instead of straining to see Him in the spectacular.
I am convinced that there are many people like Naaman today, maybe even here today, who need to be healed & set free by God’s Spirit, but fail to because of like Naaman pride.
It is just so wrong on the surface that the servants should tell the master what to do. It doesn’t seem right that the prophet just wants him to wash in a river when there are great rivers in his own land.
Naaman had to learn a lesson that all of us must learn if we seek God’s blessing - we don’t get to dictate to God how He can work in our lives.
Indeed we have to learn that the wholeness that we desire is actually already within us – we just to accept the Lord’s blessing & allow ourselves to become what we already are, that is what Naaman did. The Hebrew word for healing literally means "to be made whole, complete again". The healing of the leper is not merely personal, just as peace in Hebrew means more than the absence of war, so health means more than the absence of illness.
This story is about grace – the undeserved love & blessing of God & it is a grace that we all need. We all need to live in the power of the Spirit & feel the anointing of God bringing wholeness to us.
But as for Naaman nothing can happen until we admit our powerlessness, our inability to be in charge. Until we allow God to minister in is ways. This strikes clearly at the heart of our society where we teach that self sufficiency is so important.
Today we are all Assyrians – people of possessions, power & strength.
We are all Naaman’s living with the same trappings of pride & control.
If we wish to be made whole though we will all need to be made whole, to find our shalom, (body, mind spirit) bath in the Jordan, baptized.
We all can become what we already are…children of God.