None of the young people in our church had heard of Naaman (2 Kings 5), or at least they didn’t want to admit it, despite a childhood of church kid’s clubs and the like. When did we stop telling these kind of stories? I remember hearing this story, among others, as a child via a Flannelgraph presentation, a technology we were in awe of at the time! Not sure if flannelgraph exists still, but we do have big fancy screens and computer graphics now. Googling for such material drew a blank and so thought I would produce my own digital storyboard from which to tell the story.
Of course Jesus used this story rather provocatively in his synagogue manifesto speech, where the story’s edginess creates quite a response – “When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage” (Luke 4). I wonder what made them so mad, and will this story prove to be as provocative today? I’m not sure which is my favourite bit. Perhaps it is the Syrian’s rudeness about the River Jordan, servants being the movers and shakers, enemy kings putting each other in awkward situations or good old Elisha deciding to work from home.