My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it?”

We are told that Christ Jesus took on the form of a servant. There was a servant once, a little girl who had been ripped and torn away from her family and home by Syrian raiders. And she sees the man who had abducted and enslaved her suffering from leprosy, and what does she do? She points him to the prophet Elisha.

And her master Naaman goes, seeking healing. He has a mighty large bribe, wants to get kings involved, all sorts of power and might. But that’s not how God works. His means are simple and quiet. Elisha tells him by messenger to dip seven times in the Jordan and be healed. And Naaman is incensed, leaves angrily – couldn’t Elisha have come to me and dealt with me directly in a hand-waving sort of way?

More of his servants come – perhaps ones with stories of woe even greater than that little girl – and they say to Naaman gently – “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you.” You will be healed, Naaman – go wash. Don’t grouse – do it, receive this healing. And Elisha does it and is clean.

Christ Jesus took on the form of a servant for you. He suffered and took up burdens for you. And why? To speak gently to you words of forgiveness and life, words that cleanse you from all unrighteousness and open up to you the way of everlasting life. Words tied to water in Holy Baptism, words tied to the messengers He sends to His pulpits, words that even we little children speak to each other. Rejoice, for Christ Jesus is gentle with you, and He still points you to forgiveness even when you are tempted towards being haughty and arrogant.

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