2 Kings 5:14
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.
Oh to be young again! Not necessarily to be a little child, but to go back to an innocence that we once knew, to return to a time before scars came to our bodies and our souls. When many of us look at the sinful lives we have led, we cannot help but believe that the only way we could remove the stain of our sin would be to turn back the clock to a time before we had become so worldly and dirty. Naaman had a simpler desire – to be healed of his leprosy – but he got much more in return. Like many sick people we see later in the Gospels, Naaman’s simple faith brought him great healing.
Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Syria, a successful and mighty warrior, but he had leprosy. Through the grace of God, Naaman heard from an Israelite slave girl about Elisha, “the prophet who is in Samaria.” So Naaman visited Elisha and was told to wash himself in the Jordan River seven times, then he would be healed.
Leprosy is a terrible illness. Although today we have a cure, there are still many people worldwide who suffer from this disease. Leprosy affects the nervous system and kills the sense of pain we might normally have if we get a cut, a bruise, or other injury. Not knowing one has been hurt, a small injury can lead to disfiguring infection, leaving the leper horribly maimed. Undoubtedly, Naaman had many scars on his body not only from his many battles but also from his disease. So imagine that moment described in the verse above, when the maimed and battle-scarred Naaman emerges from the Jordan not only cured of his disease, but also with his flesh “restored like the flesh of a little child.”
That is the kind of healing Jesus offers us even today. Jesus alone can present us “faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” (Jude 24) God desires to cleanse us of all our filthiness and all our idolatry. (Ezekiel 26:25) But first we must approach Him humbly, repenting of our sins, and faithfully seeking the redemption that only comes from being washed in the blood of Christ, the spotless Lamb of God. (1 Peter 1:17-19)
Naaman’s “baptism” in the Jordan did not simply cure his disease, it washed away the stains of his pagan past, the sins of his earlier life. As Peter tells us: “Baptism…now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…” (1 Peter 3:21) Naaman emerged physically reborn, literally with the skin of a child! THAT is the healing Christ offers for us today, a healing that will take us back to the innocence we knew as a child, so that we can look at Him with new eyes and renewed hearts, and bask in the glory of His grace forever.
Let us join David in his prayer:
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.