Although Naaman suffered from some form of contagious skin disease considered to be leprosy, he was still allowed to hold the position of commander of the Aramean army. A captive young Israelite girl who served as maid to Naaman’s wife told her mistress, “I wish my master would go to see the prophet in Samaria. He would heal him of his leprosy” (II Kings 5:4, NLT).
Naaman’s wife saw genuine faith in the young Israelite girl and told Naaman what she had said. This prompted Namaan to go to Elisha, along with an entourage of soldiers and horses:
“But Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: ‘Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of your leprosy.’ But Naaman became angry and stalked away” (II Kings 5:10-11a).
Naaman was used to the royal treatment and Elisha didn’t even come out of his house to meet him. Naaman fumed, “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me! Aren’t the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of the rivers of Israel?” (from II Kings 5:11-12).
Angry with both Elisha’s lack of respect for his position of authority and for his absurd-sounding instructions, Naaman left in anger. But the men who had accompanied him asked him, “Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times. And his skin became as healthy as the skin of a young child’s” (from II Kings 5:13-14).
God’s way is the only way. Naaman could have dipped himself in every puddle of water between Elisha’s house and his own and still not have been healed. Why? Because that’s not the way God said to do it. There is but one way to be healed of sin. It isn’t complicated, but it is specific: the Way is Jesus.
“Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel” (Naaman’s words from II Kings 5:15).