The Soul’s Only Cure
Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favor, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor, but he
was a leper.
2 Kings 5:1
From any angle, it appeared that Naaman had made it.
Naaman was a man of the great Syrian city of Damascus. Two rivers that began in the mountains of Lebanon flowed with pristine beauty into a fertile oasis where this city had been built. It was a place of wealth and leisure, and provided the cultural attractions of art, music, and recreation. As the successful commander of the Syrian army, Naaman had an enviable position of power and prestige, and he was highly regarded, including by his king. And, no doubt, with his power and prestige came great possessions.
In other words, here was a man who had everything going his way. Except for one thing.
There was one dimension to Naaman’s existence which cast long shadows over everything else that he enjoyed. His many proud achievements were dimmed and dominated by this one clause: “But he was a leper.” All that he enjoyed—his many opportunities and his possessions—could not come close to tackling his problem. There wasn’t anything that he was able to do… and the leprosy was spoiling his life.
The physical condition that plagued Naaman is a picture of the spiritual condition from which each one of us suffers. His leprosy was a scarring, contagious, ugly condition. It is a classic biblical picture of humanity’s nature, which is tainted by sin.
When we describe ourselves and our context to others, we might list who we know, the places we’ve been to, and all that we’ve achieved. Yet at the end of all of that, without Christ, we’re inevitably heading for that same little word as Naaman: but…
Leprosy had no regard for Naaman’s status, and sin has no regard for ours. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and “all” truly means “all.” There is not a man or woman who is omitted from the scope of that all-inclusive statement. There is no wealth that can buy us out of sin and no goodness that can cover it over.
We all suffer from the leprosy of our souls, for which there is no cure apart from Christ. Only when we admit that our status and possessions cannot deal with our greatest issue can we then turn to Jesus, our Great Physician, who took on our condition so that we might be healed. Just as He was willing to reach out and touch a leper, rendering Himself unclean but healing the man entirely, so on the cross He became sin so that we might become righteous in God’s sight (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Today, you are surrounded by Naamans: people who enjoy prestige, power, and possessions—people who have made it but who are nonetheless spoiled by sin and facing judgment. Here is a truth that undermines our envy of others and arouses compassion instead. As Naaman required a cure for his leprosy, every man and woman requires a solution for sin—and you know the cure.
QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?