Jesus added, “No prophet is honored in his own country. Truly, I say to you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens withheld rain for three years and six months and a great famine came over the whole land. Yet, Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow of Zarephath, in the country of Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha, the prophet; and no one was healed except Naaman, the Syrian.”
On hearing these words, the whole assembly became indignant. They rose up and brought him out of the town, to the edge of the hill on which Nazareth is built, intending to throw him down the cliff. But he passed through their midst and went his way.
One of the striking things about Elisha, the man of God, is his freedom. He is not at all impressed by the fact that his visitor is none other than Naaman, a valiant, highly esteemed, respected army general who has brought victory to his country, and who comes to “buy” his cure for leprosy with “ten talents, six thousand gold pieces, and ten festal garments.” When Naaman arrives at Elisha’s door, he does not get down from his chariot and instead waits for the prophet to come out to him. But Elisha does not go out to greet his famous (and arrogant) visitor. He merely sends him a message through his servant. To Elisha, the great general is no more than any other man. Naaman receives no special privilege, no V.I.P. treatment, no particular attention through a private consultation.
The people who are close to God enjoy the same inner freedom as Elisha. Why? Because the fact of being deeply attached to God detaches them from all that is not God. And this includes money, power, prestige, fame, youth, beauty, etc. When all is said and done, the ultimate power is love, which nothing can buy or conquer by force.
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