But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. 2 Kings 5:11
What do people expect from believers? This is an important question, because what people expect is what they will go after. That is why I chose this passage from 2 Kings to begin our week together. Naaman was in need of healing, but even in that he had certain expectations from religion. To understand this passage I urge you to read all of 2 Kings 5. Naaman was a captain of the host of Syria and had delivered many victories to the Syrian King. Now he was a leper and all the physicians and religious leaders of this land could do nothing for him. Finally, an Israelite maiden said that there was a prophet who could heal Naaman of his leprosy in Israel.
Eventually, Naaman was directed to the prophet Elisha. Here is where the story supports my point. When Naaman came to the prophet, the man of God sent word to go was in the river Jordan seven times. This angered Naaman. I can almost hear Naaman shout, “Who does this man think he is and does he know who I am?” Furthermore, Naaman made every excuse for not obeying the Word of the Lord. He turned and was about to go back to Syria in a huff. This teaches me so much for people want pomp and circumstances. Naaman expected Elisha to wear fancy robes and act a certain way. When Naaman didn’t get what he expected he made up his mind to just keep his disease.
Are we not like that? We expect to find worship more with greater numbers of people than with a few assembled together with the Lord. People love what they love and too many times we feed the lost with what they want and not what they need. What makes a difference is when we speak to them the truth of God’s word. This came when certain ones said to Naaman, “My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?” The simple truth of the message struck home with Naaman. We are not told his actions after this but we are simply told that he did as the prophet commanded and was made clean.
That is the message we should preach. Simply put, tell the world what Jesus said, “You must be born again.” Then tell them the truth of believing in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It isn’t popular, nor is it what the world wants, but it is what the lost needs to hear.