Naaman’s Servant Girl [Part 2]
By — September 22, 2017
Are you ready for some good news?
The Gospel is simple. It’s endlessly deep. But oh so simple.
Today’s Text: “But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. Are not Abana 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. But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”” (2 Kings 5:11–13, ESV)
Argentinian pastor and evangelist Juan Carlos Ortiz once paused during his sermon to ask: “What is two plus two?”
No one responded.
Ortiz repeated: “Anybody, what is two plus two?”
Still, the congregation was mum.
A third time, Ortiz asked the question: “What is two plus two?” No one dared answer. So Pastor Ortiz turned his attention to a parishioner who was a professor of mathematics and quizzed the learned mathematician:
“Professor, can you please tell me – what is two plus two?”
The professor smiled and shrugged, “I don’t know,” said the professor.
Eventually, the pastor called upon a little child who promptly gave the correct answer: Four.
Pastor Ortiz seized the illustration for teaching purposes. “No one was willing to answer my simple question because you believed it must be a trick. It was too easy. You assumed that something so simple couldn’t be for you!”
The great, Syrian commander Naaman was, at first, offended that the prophet Elisha had given him something so simple to do: wash in the Jordan seven times. It seemed too juvenile. Only when his simple servants reasoned with him did Naaman obey the prophet’s instructions. When he emerged from his seventh dip in the Jordan, the text describes the commander’s previously leprous flesh as “restored like the flesh of a little child.”
Naaman couldn’t be like a child outwardly until he was like a child inwardly. In God’s design, the little children are the greatest because they don’t miss the simplicity of the Gospel. God’s redemptive plan in Christ is endlessly deep but simple enough for the smallest child. And that’s the Gospel!