the low-down on serving
"He turned about in anger and left. But his servants came up and reasoned with him." —2 Kings 5:12-13
Proud Naaman was surrounded by humble servants. His wife's servant girl, a young Israelite whose country Naaman had raided, swallowed any national pride she may have held and pointed Naaman to the source of healing. At the house of the prophet Elisha, Naaman's humble "servants came up and reasoned with him," leading him to healing in the Jordan's waters. Such humility was not an automatic response for a servant, as Elisha's servant Gehazi tragically proved shortly after Naaman's healing (see 2 Kgs 5:20ff). Naaman's servants had more to do with Naaman's healing than did Naaman.
When Jesus preached at Nazareth, He specifically mentioned Naaman's healing, perhaps implying that there was insufficient humility in the people of Israel for a healing to occur. Where were the humble servants in the synagogue at Nazareth? Apparently, there weren't any. "The whole audience in the synagogue was filled with indignation" (Lk 4:28). No one served this proud congregation by humbly swallowing their pride, reasoning with the leaders of the synagogue rebellion, and leading them to the healing that Jesus wanted to give (see Lk 4:18; Mk 6:5).
Who will serve by taking the low places? (see Lk 14:10) If no one takes the lowly servant positions, then Jesus gets kicked out of families, workplaces, churches, and towns (Lk 4:29-30). Get behind in the world! Serve!
Prayer: Father, I close my heart to pride and open my eyes to Your opportunities.
Promise: "There is no God in all the earth, except in Israel." —2 Kgs 5:15
Praise: Barbara uses her time washing the dishes for intercessory prayer.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Giles H. Pater, August 18 8, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 23, 2004