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  • Writer's pictureSt. John's Lutheran

Who In the Name Of Jesus...Can You Leave Off the Hook?

2 Kings 5:20-27

New International Version

20 Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, “My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.” 21 So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. “Is everything all right?” he asked. 22 “Everything is all right,” Gehazi answered. “My master sent me to say, ‘Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent[a] of silver and two sets of clothing.’” 23 “By all means, take two talents,” said Naaman. He urged Gehazi to accept them,and then tied up the two talents of silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing. He gave them to two of his servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. 24 When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the things from the servants and put them away in the house. He sent the men away and they left. 25 When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” “Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered. 26 But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? 27 Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow.

Friday - August 6

Throughout this ordeal, Elisha refused to accept the money of Naaman. This was primarily to show that God’s mercy is not bought and paid for. It is a free gift that is received by faith. Salvation is the washing away of our sins by water and the word. In his Small Catechism, Martin Luther writes: “What is Baptism? Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God’s command and combined with God’s word.” But Gehazi wasn’t interested in forgiving sins. He wanted Naaman to “pay.” Notice what he said: “my master has spared this Naaman the Syrian.” In other words, Gehazi thinks Elisha let him off easy! That is what forgiveness seems like to many people. But that is the calling God has given us! Who can you freely forgive today?! Who can you “let off the hook” in the name of Jesus?!

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