An Unexpected Witness
2 Kings 5: 2-4
There is a serious neglect on the part of Christians today of forgetting that we are to present to the world
the gospel about Jesus.
The tendency is to apply the gospel of Christ to the present situation in a general sense.
We talk about the forces that are in conflict in the world, and of the present state of nations.
And we try to apply the message of the gospel to that general situation.
But the function of the gospel is intensely personal.
Many sermons that are delivered seem to lack a unique Christian note.
They could just as well be given by those who do not claim to be Christians at all.
If our message is the kind that might just as well be given by those concerned solely about secular affairs,
then that message is not specifically Christian.
As we read the New Testament we find that the message given by the early Christians was
altogether different from anything that the world knew.
It was a unique message, one which only the Christian could give.
The task of the Christian is something entirely separate and distinct from anything the world has to offer
even when it is at its very best and highest.
Christians must realize the remarkable opportunity we have today to witness the good news.
Both the history of the Bible and that of the church illustrate the fact that there are times and periods
when special opportunities present themselves to the church and to individual Christians.
This present day s one of those occasions.
Men and women outside the church are looking to Christianity, and are wondering if the solution
for the world's problems are found in the gospel of Christ.
And that is where we have an opportunity to witness.
Are we taking advantage of these opportunities, and are we seeking to bring these men and women
into touch with the only One who can satisfy the desires of the human soul?
With this in mind that I want us to look at a young maid who was a servant in the household
of a very powerful man named, Naaman.
We don't even know her name.
This story reminds us that God uses even the most unknown and those who have no prominence
Many of God's servants are not from the upper crust.
The apostles were fishermen rather than learned men, and that was so offensive to the Scribes,
Pharisees, and chief priests.
Those men were merely fishermen; they were publicans and sinners, and they were the ones
that the Lord chose to be His apostles.
In our Scripture passage we met a little maid who had been taken captive.
We can be sure that Naaman was not looking to that little maid as a cure for his leprosy.
The Lord's ways are so much different than our ways.
2Kings 5:2 says, "And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive
out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife."
She was a slave and a servant to Naaman's wife.
Although she was taken from her home by this cruel captor and forced to work as a slave,
she doesn't show that she harbors any anger or revenge in her heart.
She was not only willing to inform Naaman about a possible cure for his leprosy,
but she probably prayed for him.
2 Kings 5:3 says, "And she said unto her mistress, 'Would God my lord were with the prophet
that is in Samaria for he would recover him of his leprosy.'"
With these words she is telling Naaman's wife that there is a prophet of Israel who was a man of God.
She didn't preach a long sermon with all the doctrines of grace and teachings.
She merely pointed out there was a prophet in Israel who could cure Naaman of his disease.
She pointed them to God.
Even in captivity, she remembered the prophet of Israel and spoke a word in season.
Speaking a word in season means to speak when it is the right time and place to speak.
She talked about Naaman's problem.
She didn't reprove him of his wealth and position.
She didn't tell him how awful it was to carry people away from their native land.
She spoke about the matter which was most important to him.
Naaman was the head of the house, and she was concerned for him.
She was sympathetic towards him, and wished him well.
She had a loving heart, so she could have reasoned:
"Naaman was the Commander of the Syrian army which has brought disaster to her people
from time to time.
He is an enemy of our country, so he deserves his leprosy.
Look at me and others who were taken into Syria with me serving as slaves.
He deserves everything he gets."
She was not like that.
She told his wife of her concern for him, and his wife told Naaman what she had said.
This young maid shows remarkable faith.
The little Hebrew maid may have met up with Elisha on a few occasions as he might have been
in her village and surrounding villages.
She certainly knew about him and his ministry..
She truly believed that if Naaman would go to him that Elisha could heal him..
This should teach us we should never lose an opportunity for Christ to be revealed in us.
This little maid could have been filled with bitterness and anger; and she could have rejoiced in his misery.
The Spirit of God is seen in that little maid.
She had the opportunity to be a witness for the Lord., and God used the captivity of that young lady
as a witness to bring His message to Naaman.
Sometimes God allows us to go through some very trying circumstances to put us in a position
to be His witness to others in their time of distress.
This is a simple example of how God uses the weak things of the world to confound the mighty and strong.
Also, we see in this story that Christianity is something that is invincible.
Even in adversity as Christians we can overcome.
In our scripture passage we have the story of a little maid who, though she performed the
most menial tasks, do something of which a great captain of the hosts of Syria was utterly ignorant.
There is nothing so interesting, as you read through the Bible, as seeing the way in which
insignificant people seem to emerge in a crisis as the possessors of needed knowledge
When our Lord chose His disciples, He didn't go to the court of the king;
He chose ordinary fishermen and workmen.
It was always a matter of astonishment to the Sanhedrin, and to other courts, how these unlettered
and ignorant men were able to perform mighty miracles.
Naaman's life was essentially a failure in spite of his greatness for he was miserable with his disease.
His leprosy had spoiled everything in life for him.
It didn't matter how great his victories or his honors were or what he had or might have had.
Because he was a leper, everything was nullified.
All that the world could give him availed him nothing.
That, of course, is a perfect parable of life at all times, and of life at this present day.
There is this deadly disease called sin which comes into our lives and spoils it and ruins it.
A person may possess every power that is available to mankind, but if he cannot solve
that deadly problem of sin, he will always be wretched and unhappy.
But the wonder of the Christian is that the knowledge he possesses is a knowledge
that can cure that living death that every person has who does not have Jesus as their Saviour.
The purpose of Christianity is to deal with and to solve this leprosy of sin.
The church is neglecting her true function unless we realize that our mission and ministry
is to tell others that Jesus is the cure to this deadly disease called sin.
The position of every Christians is that we might not have the knowledge and skill to solve
the great international problems of the world, we do know the solution to the problem of sin
just as this little maid knew the how Naaman could be cured of his leprosy.
This is amazing knowledge that the most humble and the lowest of Christians know and can share
with all who need deliverance from their sin and death.
The little maid knew nothing about the natureof leprosy; but she knew that there was a prophet
who knew how to cure him, and she passed what she knew.
Sometimes, Christians seem to think that only a certain few are called on to do the work of an evangelist.
It is true that there are vocations in the church with the gift to evangelize.
But every Christian has the knowledge of telling others about the saving power of Jesus.
And every Christian has the privilege and responsibility to do so.
Let me ask some personal questions.
Are you individually alert and aware of your present opportunities?
Are you seeking to bring the peace and joy of Christ into burdened hearts?
We listen to those around us as they express their pessimism and their sense of hopelessness
about the state of things in the world, but do we do anything about it?
This little maid was filled with a sense of compassion and sorrow as she thought of her master's leprosy,
And it was a burden in her heart.
She felt compelled to pass on her knowledge to her mistress.
Do we have that burden for our lost loved ones and lost friends?
Do we feel a sense of sorrow for the masses who live in darkness and despair?
Do we just enjoy our own Christianity, and yet, never say a word to them?
We know that they are dead in their sin, and we have never said a word to them about Jesus.
Even worse than that, we might not even have them in our prayers.
This little maid possessed with divine compassion.
She and her people had been carried away captive by Naaman and his hosts, and she might very well
have allowed him to go on suffering.
But in spite of having been wronged, she forgave everything.
You and I must be animated by this same spirit.
This little maid had tremendous confidence in the power of Elisha.
And it is our blessed task to point others to Jesus who is infinitely greater than Elisha.
We can point them to Jesus, the Son of God, who has all power, and who has died to save us
from our sin.
No matter bad a person's sin Jesus will forgive and give them eternal life.
There is no one too hopeless for Him to rescue and redeem.
I pray that we may feel this compelling power within to tell men and women of Jesus,
who, if they will but turn to Him, will deliver them from their sins, and give them new life.
Are you ready to pass it on?
Sermon adapted by Dr. Harold L. White