I recently read a story about Naaman ‘commander of the army of the king of Syria’ in Second Kings, Chapter Five; in the Bible. Naaman was a very important and rich man–but he was also a leper. From his Israeli servant girl, he heard that there was a prophet in Israel that could heal him. Naaman set out to meet him, taking with him 750 pounds of silver, 145 pounds of gold and ten outfits. If my math was correct– that’s quite the treasure! Naaman took all of this with him to Israel and stood outside the prophet Elisha’s door. Elisha did not come out to meet him, or accept his wealth. Instead, he sent his servant who simply said “Go, wash in the Jordan River seven times.” Naaman was angry! He turned to leave to go back to Syria, saying ‘there were far better rivers to wash in where he came from.’ His servants eventually convinced him to try it anyway. On the seventh dip, his skin was as ‘restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.’
I read another story on washing, this time one from the New Testament. In John, Chapter Thirteen, Jesus began washing his disciples’ feet. Peter said to Jesus-“You shall never wash my feet.” At first reading, it seems like he is actually saying a good thing to Jesus. But then Jesus says, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”
Some thoughts after reading these two stories:
1) Humility is needed. First; in realizing that you need cleansing, and then secondly; in realizing Who can heal you.
2) If God does not make us clean, ‘we have no part with Him.’
3) When God washes us, He makes us “whiter than snow.” (Ps 51:7) Let us be like King David and say “Create in me a clean heart.” (Ps 51:10)
“And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” (Matthew 8:2-3 ESV)
Jesus wants to “cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9) He is ready and able. All we have to do is ask.
Further reading: Heb 9:14, Titus 3:5, I John 1:7