As I read this passage, it reminds me of the salvation that we receive from God.
First, we learn that it needs to be proclaimed in order for people to receive it. It’s amazing to me that this girl, who goes nameless in this story, would show such compassion for her master when she was stolen away from her own people to become a slave. And yet, she cared so much for her master, that she told his wife, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” (3)
Had she never said a word, he would have wasted away in his leprosy. In the same way, many people are wasting away in their sin, and unless we tell them about the one who can save them, they will die in that sin. Paul wrote,
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)
The second thing about salvation is that it has to come God’s way, not our own. When Naaman was told that he would have to bathe in the Jordan, his first reaction was revulsion. “Why should I go to the Jordan? Why not the rivers in my own land? They’re much better than the Jordan! What kind of prophet is this anyway? I thought he would just wave his hand over me and I would be made clean. This guy wouldn’t even see me!” (11-12)
But Naaman had to learn that healing wouldn’t come by doing things his own way, but through God’s. God required that he show humility, admitting that he couldn’t help himself, and faith, believing God’s word and then obeying it. And he requires the same from those who seek salvation today. That we would humble ourselves, admit we are sinners who need help, and then putting our faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of ours sins.
Finally, salvation is not a gift we can buy. I believe that it was for this reason that Elisha refused payment and that Elisha’s servant Gehazi was punished with leprosy for lying to Naaman and saying that Elisha had changed his mind. God wanted to make clear that this salvation that Naaman received was a free gift. But Gehazi ruined that picture God was trying to show Naaman and the Arameans.
In the same way, salvation from sin is a free gift. We cannot pay for it. We cannot earn it. All we can do is humbly receive it. As Ephesians 2:8-9 says,
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.
Lord, thank you for your gift of salvation. We were wasting away in our sins. And yet, you’ve reached down to us, and through your Son, offered forgiveness and life. Lord, I pray that just as I have received this gift, that I may share this gift to the people around me that they too may know the gift of life that comes from you. In Jesus name, amen.