“Naaman’s servants went to him and said, ‘My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, Wash and be cleansed!’”2 Kings 5:13
MON The Bible tells of a Syrian general who terrorized Israel but suffered from leprosy, an infectious disease. He went to Elisha, who by God’s power could heal and restore him. Expecting demands for an enormous ransom or to perform a complicated ritual, Naaman was surprised and even insulted when the prophet gave him simple, seemingly ridiculous instructions. No need to travel far (only to the nearby Jordan River’s shore), and nothing superhuman required: merely dunk seven times in the river. Jesus retold this story some 900 years later to illustrate the “offensiveness” of God’s mercy, and His audience reacted by trying to throw Him off a cliff (Luke 4:23-30)!
People often want to pay or do something to earn favor. Here in prison especially, there are no “freebies”; an offer of something extravagant at no cost is eyed with extreme suspicion. But God says our efforts to earn His grace are not only unnecessary, they also insult Him! Scandalous though it may be, we need only to “look and live” (see Numbers 21:4-9 and John 3:14-18).
“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Galatians 2:21)