Thursday, June 14, 2007


"So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha's house. And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, 'Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.'”

Not surprisingly, this made Naaman angry. He was a great warrior! He had a horrible skin disease, one fight he was powerless against but in the mercy of God had been told about one who could cure his disease. So when Naaman went to that one man, the prophet Elisha, he was none too pleased when Elisha didn't even bother to show up at the door. Who did he think he was?

Well, who he was was my kind of prophet. One who points people to Christ *and not to himself*. His message to Naaman was to go take a bath, which is what every prophet needs to tell people who are seeking to be cleansed. Because, Elisha knew, it wasn't about him, it was about Christ--just as Naaman's disease could be cleansed in the river so our sins are cleansed in the water of Baptism. Elisha didn't want Naaman to think that he would be performing a magic act on him. He wanted Naaman to know that there is one God and it is through His Word that people are cleansed. Every prophet and preacher is armed with this Word--it is not just words on the pages of the Holy Bible, the Word that is proclaimed is the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. In Baptism we are cleansed by this Word.

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