2 Kgs 5:1-15 Ps 42:1-2,43:1-4 Luke 4:24-30
Naaman healed of leprosy
Today’s reading is rather long, but it is an interesting footnote in the history of God’s people. It’s also worth reading on further if you have time, as the story doesn’t end at verse 15. It is a warning for those who don’t believe that God is watching!
I am struck by the witness of the young servant girl. Despite being taken captive in a raid and forced to be a slave, she demonstrated her faith in God who would work through his prophet Elisha. The result was not only the healing of this Gentile, but Naaman’s acknowledgement of the true God.
These events were mentioned by Jesus in the gospel reading today too. Jesus pointed out, in the synagogue in his home town, that the healing of a leper was not heard of in Israel, other than of the Gentile Naaman. This provoked such a reaction, that they drove him out of town. Those who were well acquainted with the law knew the intricate process of sacrifice required following the healing of a leper. God had set out precise and elaborate instructions which were to be followed (see Leviticus chapters 13 & 14). Yet given these laws, no one in the Old Testament was recorded as cured of leprosy other than Naaman, who was not a Jew. So why did God put these laws in place? Time was running out in the old testament system with the destruction of the temple, so the associated sacrificial process would be no longer possible. Yet Jesus was about to change the score. On one occasion he healed ten lepers in one go! (Lk 17:11-19). However, notice in the first account from Luke of the healing of a leper, Jesus tells the healed man, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” Such miracles should have caused the Pharisees to take note of something special going on. Might there be someone greater than Elisha here?
What does this say to us today? Are we prepared to be like the young slave girl witnessing to the truth of God’s power? Standing up for God’s truth can lead to healings and changed lives.
You are truly a mighty God; whose power is infinite choosing to love us beyond our wildest thoughts. Come in your power to heal. Help us to determine our purpose and our tasks to serve you this week. That those around us might acknowledge you as Lord and Saviour, to the glory of your name.
Tomorrow’s Readings: Psalm 25:3-10