2 Kings 5
Theme: Naaman was a well-liked man who had experienced many blessings in his life. However, in our reading this week we see God use his life (leprosy) to portray our need for cleansing not only physically but also spiritually.
(A Great Man With A Great Need)
Naaman was certainly a stud of a man. He was a military leader, right hand man for the king of Syria, hero of the people, and he had received blessings in the way of victory over his enemies. However, no matter how great he was he still had a great need. Naaman had leprosy (which was a death sentence to be lived out in isolation) which was a physical picture of his spiritual reality. Not only did Naaman need to be cleansed of his leprosy to live, he also needed faith in the Lord to cleanse his sin to find life. Leprosy is a great illustration for the spiritual condition of many christians. What’s worse for Naaman, as he makes his way to Elisha we get a clear picture of an arrogant man even in the face of death. Naaman is so wrapped up in himself that he isn’t willing to do the small things asked of him for cleansing. For a lot of Christians today, we separate ourselves from people like Naaman. If many were honest, we would see that we aren’t much different than him. There are many “good ole boys” that feel as though we deserve to be “cleansed” or have found some sort of righteousness apart from simply having faith in the Lord. There’s a sense of “I deserve” or “i’ve earned”. People lack an understanding of their greatest need which is cleansing from God. Think about phrases like “well i go to church & connect group” or “i’m not that bad”.
(A Great Evangelist)
The servant girl did an amazing thing: after realizing her master's condition she pointed him to the greatest hope she knew. Evangelism is that simple. Many people get wrapped up in all things christian and forget the most simple piece of their faith which is to simply point people to Jesus. A couple of characteristics ti notice in the slave girl:
She was aware of Naaman’s condition (physical & spiritual)
She had a burden for his welfare (physical & spiritual)
She was confident in God’s ability to heal (physical & spiritual)
She wasn’t afraid to speak up with the things of God
A large portion of the people we come into contact with are not in right relationship with Christ. As a christian, when we begin to have a burden for these people it should be of great importance that we point them to the greatest hope we know.
(A Great Transformation)
As Naaman comes out of the water he is pictured as a brand new man. He was healed and his skin was completely restored. Even deeper than that however, he had a deep love and respect for the God of Israel. This great man with a great need, who was humbled before God & submitted himself to the instruction of God, has now experienced the most life giving thing ever. We clearly see a different Naaman after this incident. For example when he gave the gifts away he actually gave more than what was requested. He even begged for dirt from this place to keep him from worshiping on the ground of his master's idols. That is the definition of a Godly transformation: turning from idols and to God. As you look at this story, notice these 6 evidences of genuine transformation:
Turning from idols to the living God exclusively
Change of status
Sensitive conscience toward sin
How has your week been spiritually? / What is God teaching you?
What sins are you struggling with that you need to confess?
How did you first realize your deep need for Christ?
In what ways did your life change immediately after that?
How are you currently experiencing some of the characteristics Naaman portrayed before being cleansed?
What makes a person talk about Jesus to other people?
When was the last time you talked about Jesus with someone outside of your church? Explain that encounter.
How would this story have been written if the slave girl never spoke up?
Of the six evidences, which one(s) have you not experienced?
Share a story of a time where you witnessed a great transformation. Why should this encourage you to share your faith?