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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Leprosy is always a good illustration

I was giving a talk today at the Rexdale drop-in centre for the boys who come out to the summer program. It seems that the story of Naaman and his leprosy is a neat way to think about sin and salvation. If you don't remember, Naaman is the commander of the Aramean army and he has a bad case of leprosy. When his wife's Jewish servant girl recommends that he go to the man of God in Israel to be healed, he goes. When he gets there, he is a little put off by the fact that Elisha doesn't come out to see him and even more angry at the message he gets from Elisha. The orders were to to wash in the Jordan seven times. His pleads, "are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?" Apparently, the waters of the Jordan weren't to his liking and he refuses the offer from Elisha and storms off. His servants who had been watching the goings on say, "my father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, 'Wash, and be clean?" He does it and is healed. That is when is life is changed and he confesses that there is no god but the God of Israel. Cool. All of this is in 2 Kings 5.

This is a really cool gospel illustration. We're all sick, sick with sin but nobody wants the cure that God is offering. Actually, like Naaman, we are offended by the cure that God offers. We would much prefer to do it our way. Thanks but I don't need your dirty Jordan river. How could a guy in Naaman's position (having leprosy) just reject such a gift of healing? Maybe pride... but God's solution is so simple. It requires faith. I guess Jesus is like the Jordan in the sense that he "had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him" (Isaiah 53:2b). He is the only cure, the only solution.


Blogger amac said...

JR, you keep it coming

9:14 PM  
Blogger Lydia said...

that was solid.


9:48 PM  
Blogger John Sundara said...

Josh bro, that is awesome. I love the Isaiah quote and analogy man. Never ever thought about that.

10:53 PM  
Blogger tomgee said...

Great point and insight, Josh! Thanks for the post!

7:22 AM  
Blogger shellieos said...

solid solid

9:52 AM  
Blogger Nick Hill said...

Great analogy in relating the story to the gospel and Jesus Christ. Thanks,


11:43 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Cool...love that analogy...puts a whole new perspective on sin and cleansing

7:54 PM  
Blogger JLF said...

Josh: You really wish you were here with us. So far I've seen Mark Altrogge do air guitar behind his head to 'purple haze' and I just got to see Bob Kauflin do a dancing impersonation of Axel Rose... so great! :)

6:57 AM  
Blogger Jonathan P said...

Oh wow... crazy good. hey maybe you wanna take a look at a bit of my confusion over Esther tell me what you think? :P (http://rantsfrompark.blogspot.com)

11:58 PM  
Blogger Son of Man said...

Jlf - Mark is a pretty cool dude. When I was with him at this new church plant worship seminar thing with the twins, me, he , and my buddy jesse pretty much had a jam session to Roundabout by Yes. He knows how to party for sure.

Thanks for all the affirming comments, friends.

7:57 AM  

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