Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Good News

Simple things: good news.

It's hard to keep it a secret, isn't it? When something really good happens you want to tell all your friends. Matthew 9: 27-31 tells the story of Jesus healing two blind men. He sternly warns them, "Be sure that no one finds out!" What do they do? They go out and "spread the news about Him throughout the whole area." I know Jesus told them not to, but I can hardly blame them! This happens repeatedly in the gospels. 

Sometimes a preceding factor of good news is obedience. 2 Kings 5: 1-19 describes the commander's of Israel's army being healed of a skin disease. It wasn't quite as straightforward as you might think, though. Elisha the prophet told him to "go wash seven times in the Jordan and your flesh will be restored and you will be clean." Oh, but Naaman, this commander, got angry. Why dip in the Jordan? Why not another river? Why does he have to do this at all? Couldn't Elisha heal him by the wave of a hand? In the end, he did as he was told and was grateful.  He tried and tried to give Elisha a monetary gift for his healing which brought such good news to Naaman. However, Elisha would not accept them. Still, Naaman's joy and thankfulness at this good news is clear. He even put his faith in the God of Israel alone.

So why did Elisha have him wash in the Jordan 7 times? Why does that even matter? Doesn't that sound a little superstitious? Maybe it is more than the act itself. Rather, asking him to wash 7 times in Jordan tested his obedience to a prophet of God, and further, to God himself. 

Good news is a wonderful thing and hard thing to keep a secret. Fortunately, we don't have to keep the Gospel a secret! Often, good news first requires faith and obedience. Remember today that the best news our world has ever received is what Jesus did for us. Even when you can't find any other good news in your life, know that the gospel of Jesus Christ, and more importantly the person of Jesus Christ, is with you always.  Let that good news permeate your life through obedience so that all the world may know what Jesus did for us.

Note: All scriptures from Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB).

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