Naaman had a serious need that he could not take care of himself (2 Kings 5:10-14). He was a leper. Leprosy was a terrible disease that had dreadful effects. Surely if Naaman could have relieved himself of this problem he would have done it.
He heard some good news! His wife’s Hebrew maid told them of a prophet in Israel that could help. So off he went to seek help from the Israelites of all people, the enemy. After a brief interlude with the King of Israel, a messenger was sent from one of God’s prophets, telling Naaman: “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean” (2 Kings 5:10). God was the only one who could take care of his need.
Sadly, this leper was at first unwilling to put away his pride and just submit to the clear instructions that had been given him. Looking to his own wisdom, he questioned why it had to be done that way (v. 11). He wondered why “water” would have to be part of the plan. If he did have to wash in water, why would it have to be the waters of the Jordan River?
Eventually, Naaman was persuaded to be humble enough to submit to the very simple instructions that had been given through the messenger of God (v. 13). “So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean” (v. 14).
Naaman was saved by grace through faith. Grace is “unmerited favor.” No one of sound mind would conclude that this leper “merited” his cleansing by performing a good work about which he could boast. His cleansing was not of himself (didn’t come from his own power). It was the gift of God. This, no one can doubt.
The case of the sinner:
We have a serious need that we cannot take care of by ourselves. We are sinners. Sin is likened in Scripture to a terrible disease and it has dreadful effects (Psalms 38; Matthew 9:11-12). Surely, if we could relieve ourselves of this problem we would do it.
We’ve heard the gospel (“good news”)! A messenger (Ananias) was sent from one of God’s men telling Saul of Tarsus: “Go and wash!” Acts 22:16 says, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” God is the only one (through the blood of Jesus) who can provide for our need.
Sadly, some are unwilling to put away their pride and just submit to the clear instructions. Looking to their own wisdom, they question why it has to be done that way. They wonder why water would have to be part of the plan.
Others are humble enough to submit to the very simple instructions that have been given through the messengers of God. What was Saul’s response when he was instructed to “arise and be baptized, and wash…”? “He arose and was baptized” (Acts 9:18).
Sinners are saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). No one of sound mind would conclude that this sinner (Saul) merited his cleansing by performing a good work about which he could boast. His cleansing was not himself (of his own power). It was the gift of God. This, no one should doubt.
— By Mike Pittman