Sin as Leprosy (Part 2) – Gospel in Life

Sin as Leprosy (Part 2)

Tim Keller |  March 10, 1996

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  • Sin
2 Kings 5:5-17
RS 66-08


In the narrative we’re looking at, Naaman continually seeks to go to kings, but God insists on continually speaking to Naaman only and exclusively through slaves. Naaman is continually going to “somebodies,” and God insists on speaking to him through “nobodies.”

What does that mean? What does that tell us about ourselves? What does that tell us about God?

2 Kings 5:1–16, 19–27

Naaman was a powerful man, but he had leprosy. This story shows us that even those that seem perfect can struggle, and sometimes help comes from unexpected places. Naaman’s healing didn’t come from another powerful person, but from a slave. This story helps us understand more about people and God’s mysterious ways.

1. You won’t grow spiritually until you realize worldly things can’t solve your deepest problems

Sometimes people think religion is just about culture or bringing people together. But religion also tackles big issues like poverty and mental health. Naaman thought the king could heal him, but in reality, only God can solve our biggest problems. So, we need to turn to God for answers to our toughest questions, because things like politics or psychology can only do so much.

2. You won’t truly know God until you acknowledge there’s a prophet in Israel

Naaman’s journey shows us that you can’t buy or control God. We have to understand that God’s power is infinite. The real way to know God isn’t through what we want to believe, but through what the prophets and apostles in the Bible have told us. Only by accepting the God in the Bible can we truly understand His power and how it can change us.

3. God often speaks through humble, uncool, overlooked people

God often shares His message through people who aren’t famous or powerful. The simple truth of the gospel is often best understood by those who don’t rely on worldly success or smarts. This is evident when the servants convince Naaman to obey God. The gospel’s power is shown in the cross, a symbol of weakness, showing that through Jesus’ death, everyone can be important in God’s eyes.

4. Be like the little slave girl

Naaman and Gehazi’s story teaches us to avoid worldly temptations and find happiness in God’s justice, not material things. It also shows us that suffering can lead to personal growth and the ability to help others. We should strive to be humble and serve others, learning from those who are often overlooked, and aligning our lives with God’s will and grace, just like Jesus did.



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