Naaman was a Syrian who went to Elisha to be healed of
leprosy. But when Elisha sent a message, commanding him
to dip seven times in the Jordan, he became furious and
said, "Behold, I thought. . . ."
The Story of Naaman
Naaman went to Samaria to be healed by Elisha. He arrived
at Elisha's house with horses and chariots, and stood at
Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go and wash
in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored
to you and you will be clean." But Naaman was furious
and went away and said, "Behold, I thought, 'He will surely
come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord
his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the
leper.' Are not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus,
better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash
in them and be clean?" So he turned and went away in a
rage. (2 Ki. 5:10-12)
Naaman Wanted Something Different
Naaman was enraged, and disobeyed because he wanted to be
healed differently than God commanded. He wanted Elisha
to come out personally, rather than sending a servant, and
do some great thing, waving his hands over the place. And
he didn't want to dip in an undesirable river like the Jordan.
Today, many people disobey God because they want something
Some people want religions requiring them to do great
things to prove their salvation, like speaking in tongues.
Other people want religions filled with pomp, where people
grandiosely wave their hands, and make a spectacle of themselves
Naaman Realized the Error of His Thinking
Naaman's servants saw what happened and convinced him his
thinking was illogical.
Then his servants came near and spoke to him and said,
"My father, had the prophet told you to do some great
thing, would you not have done it? How much more then,
when he says to you, 'Wash, and be clean'?" (2 Ki. 5:13)
As a result, Naaman repented and obeyed God's command.
So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the
Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; and his
flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child and
he was clean. (2 Ki. 5:14)
A Lesson From Naaman
Jesus uses Naaman to teach a lesson to people in his hometown,
when they rejected Him.
And He said, "Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome
in his hometown. But I say to you in truth, there were
many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the
sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a
great famine came over all the land; and yet Elijah was
sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land
of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many
lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and
none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian."
Naaman was a man who sought out God to be healed.
He rejected God's command at first, but with little convincing
repented and obeyed. Then after he was healed, he sought
to worship God, promising to only sacrifice to the Lord
from that day forward.
While teaching in Nazareth, Jesus tells the people that
Israelites could have had the same blessing as Naaman, if
they were like him -- sought God, listened to His word,
repented, and obeyed.
As Christians, We Want What God Wants
Christians want to do what God commands. Therefore, we train
ourselves to think the way God instructs in His word, rather
in the fleshly ways of man.
We learn from Jesus, as we study His word.
- "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for
I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest
for your souls" (Matt. 11:29).
We want to be like Jesus.
- "A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone,
after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher"
- "For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ
also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you
to follow in His steps" (1 Pet. 2:21).
We want to do what God commands.
- "Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied
to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you
may learn not to exceed what is written, so that
no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against
the other" (1 Cor. 4:6).
We want to please God.
- "trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord"
Christians Are Like Naaman
In one way, Christians are like Naaman. We seek God, listen
to His word, repent, obey, and worship Him, as we follow
in the footsteps of Jesus.