Text: 2 Kings 5:1-15
It doesn't matter where you came from, or whether you arrived in an airplane, in a car, or even in a boat. We all have to start from zero when we arrive in a foreign land. If you don't speak the language, it's even more difficult and you soon find yourself smiling, nodding, and pointing a lot!
The story of this young lady was different. She didn't arrive in Syria looking for a better life or hoping that when she arrived she would get a better job or would save up money and buy a house. She arrived as a prisoner; she was taken from her home by force in order to serve as a maid for a powerful man named Naaman. He was a valiant soldier, captain of the king's army, but with a huge problem -- he had leprosy.
What makes this young girl's story remarkable is the fact that she didn't become indifferent to the suffering of her master. She didn't keep her mouth shut when she witnessed his problem. She felt compassion even though nobody in this foreign land had compassion for her; she spoke up for her master even when he wouldn't speak up for her. Another remarkablemoment in the story is when Naaman believes her words. She was not an important person in his house, but her words went all the way to the king! Her boldness eventually led to his healing.
Someone once said that the gospel is just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread for free. I often think that if we could see the condition of people's hearts we might liken it to leprosy – numb or damaged without the healing touch of Jesus. Can we learn to be like this servant girl and place the needs of others before our own? Can we learn to boldly tell others -- whether servants or kings -- about the healing touch of Jesus, and then trust Jesus to do the rest? Our Jesus is a master of healing -- one who puts lives back together, restores relationships, and hears the cries of all those who hope in Him.
In Genesis, God tells Abraham that through his offspring all nations will be blessed (Gen 22:18), and later God tells Isaiah that he will make Abraham's offspring a light to the nations (Isa 49:6). This prophecy is certainly lived out by Naaman's Israelite slave girl. Even though she is a foreigner, and a lowly slave in the house of a powerful military general, she is still a light. Through her bold proclamation Naaman is not only healed by Elisha and given temporary hope, but Naaman becomes a follower and worshiper of the true God, the only God who can truly heal and save.
In the New Testament, we learn that Jesus is the promised light to the nations. Through his death and resurrection, we, as his followers, are invited to be like him - little lights sent out into a broken world (Phil 2:15). No matter where we find ourselves - slaves or free, at home or in a foreign land - we are called to proclaim the truth of God to those around us. We are called to offer God's hope to those who are sick and to those who are spiritually dead.
Where has God placed you? How can you be a light in this place? Who in your life needs to hear about Jesus, the light of the world?