The Shunammite Woman [Part 1]
By — September 15, 2017
Are you ready for some good news?
The Gospel that seems too good to be true is true!
Today’s Text: “And he said, “What then is to be done for her?” Gehazi answered, “Well, she has no son, and her husband is old.” He said, “Call her.” And when he had called her, she stood in the doorway. And he said, “At this season, about this time next year, you shall embrace a son.” And she said, “No, my lord, O man of God; do not lie to your servant.” But the woman conceived, and she bore a son about that time the following spring, as Elisha had said to her.” (2 Kings 4:14–17, ESV)
An affluent woman of Shunem took such delight in showing hospitality to the prophet of God that she and her husband built an addition onto their house so Elisha would always have a place to stay and rest and pray. The great prophet of Israel was grateful and inquired of the unnamed woman what could be done for her in return?
Essentially, the Shunammite woman responded, “I’m good.” She seemed to have everything. She was healthy, prosperous and well married. Still, Elisha asked his servant, “What can be done for her?” Elisha’s servant replied simply, “She has no son, and her husband is old.”
Miraculously (not presumptuously), Elisha got a word from the Lord and told the woman some joyous news: “About this time next year… you will hold a son in your arms.”
The woman’s response was deep, emotional, and primal:
Don’t lie to me man of God
Elisha had touched the Shunammite woman’s deepest, most fragile longing. Like so many of us, she had settled into acceptance of life as it is. Suddenly, the great prophet dared to connect to her primal, desperate longing to be a mother.
Simply put, it just seemed too good to be true. Pastor Kenny Thacker has noted that the Shunammite woman’s response is the only genuine response any of us could have to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The gift of God in Jesus Christ is greater than any dream any of us would have ever dared to dream. To become a child of God by the gift of God rather than our own merits is our deepest desire. To be radically accepted and shown undeserved grace that makes us heirs of God our Father -- it’s what we want and need and yearn for endlessly. It’s too good to be true, but it’s true.
Whenever I proclaim the Gospel, the announcement should come as such startling, preposterous news that everyone who hears it gasps and declares, “don’t lie to me man of God!” And that’s the Gospel!