Read: 2 Kings 5:1-27
Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” 2 Kings 5:2-3
As much as I can recall, I’ve never read this particular chapter at Christmastime before. And at first glance this doesn’t sound much like a Christmas Eve reading! But if you look again, you might be surprised. There really is some “Christmas” inside this story of a strong military leader with a potentially deadly skin disease, whose young, foreign servant points him to healing.
There is so much in this chapter to consider… life-threatening sickness, healing; leading, serving; overcoming, abiding; pride, humility; arrogance, obedience; doubt, trust… but for today, Christmas Eve, let’s just take a look at one little aspect of this chapter.
Naaman’s sick and when he hears there might be a cure, he goes to get it. I would too. Bet you’d do the same. But when he’s finally told the way to receive this healing, he becomes angry and rejects the offer because it wasn’t what he expected. It wasn’t a big enough deal.
Ironically, he must’ve forgotten that the initial source of his hope for healing was from one who would not have been considered a ‘very big deal;’ a young, foreign, servant girl.
How fitting it is to read – on the Eve of Christmas – that it was a child from Israel that pointed Naaman to hope for His healing.
As you celebrate Christmas tomorrow, you’ll be celebrating another child born in Israel. One who also lived life as a servant, and who not only points to hope for our healing, but IS our hope, and our healing.
He offers His healing by confession, belief and declaration.
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:9, 13)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Father, God, you are a mighty God. Thank you for arriving in a simple enough way that we can draw near and know you. Thank you for once again, offering us hope and eternal life this Christmas. We celebrate You, Immanuel, God with us!