Wash Those Sins Away
“And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, ‘My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, “Wash, and be clean”?’ So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”
2 Kings 5:13-14 (NKJV)
I live near the Jordan River. Not the one in Israel, but the river of the same name in Northamptonshire in the UK. Often when I cross it I am reminded of the above story.
Naaman was a brave soldier but he had leprosy. He was a commander in the army of the Syrian King Aram, who had taken some Israelites captive, including a young girl who ended up being a servant to Naaman’s wife. This girl told her mistress that Naaman would be healed of his leprosy if he went to Israel to meet God’s prophet (Elisha). Naaman asked Aram if he could be excused to do so, and Aram sent Naaman to the Israelite king with a letter in which Aram asked for Naaman’s healing. The king of Israel could do nothing to help, and thought it was all a trick. When Elisha heard of what was going on, he sent for Naaman and told him to wash seven times in the Jordan River. Naaman was furious. Maybe he wanted more drama or theatre, but the idea of simply washing in a river seemed ludicrous to him. It was then that his servants implored him as we read in the above verses, and Naaman was healed.
In the Bible sometimes historical events point to a greater reality to come. The story of Naaman is an example of this. His was a kind of baptism that pointed to the spiritual washing we receive in Christ. As Paul explained to the New Testament Christians, “you were washed…in the name of the Lord Jesus and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). All our sins are washed away, just like Naaman’s leprosy was healed in the River Jordan.
“And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16)
Father, thank you that, because of the faithfulness of your Son, Jesus, our sins can be washed away. In Jesus’ name.
Study by James Henderson
About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. This week James is speaking at our Northampton congregation. You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.