This lesson is taken from the story in 2 Kings 5 where Naaman the Syrian learns about Elisha the prophet of God from an Israelite slave girl in his home. The lesson is prepared for upper elementary school age students. It can be simplified for younger children and can also be used as a children’s church lesson. At the end of the lesson additional resources to personalize your class are available.
Scripture: 2 Kings 5:1-19
Learning Objective: Students will learn that believers can encourage others to turn to God when they have difficulties.
Memory Verse: Ephesians 5:15-16 “Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” NIV
Teaching the verse:
Before class write the verse on the board or a large piece of paper for the students to be able to read together.
How do you live your life each day? When you wake up do you realize that God has given you a fresh new day to do what pleases Him? If you don’t think this way let’s look at our verse for today and see how God wants us to live each day of our life? Read the verse. Every day God knows each of the places that we will go. We need to be very careful and wise how we should act all the time. God gives us opportunities to help others learn about Him. If they are not saved (have not believed in Jesus to save them from their sins), when they see our example of how to live for God they may begin to want to know more about Jesus. As they learn more about Jesus they then can believe in the Lord Jesus and have eternal life.
As we learn from our Bible story today let’s look for the person in the lesson that put this verse into practice.
- PRINT this lesson plan
- Bibles for each student
- A container with some baby powder in it and some cotton balls.
- Have a jar with clean water and a jar with muddy water.
Bible Lesson About Naaman
John 3:16 tells us what God’s plan for the world is. Who can recite from memory this verse? “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
God’s plan is to show people of the world His great love for them. He uses ordinary people like you or me who have believed in the Lord Jesus to take His love and care to people that cross our path each day. Sometimes we think that God only uses famous people to do His work. Let me ask you a question. Who was the first person you remember that told you about God? Who was with you when you prayed and received Christ? Are those people famous people? When that person goes to Walmart does anyone stop them and ask them if they can have their autograph or have their picture taken with them? Most likely not. Most of us have learned about the Lord Jesus through ordinary people who were faithful to use the opportunities God had given them to share with us about Jesus.
Let’s get into our story today that can be found in 2 Kings 5:1-19.
We are introduced to a man named Naaman. He is not from Israel and he does not know about the One True God that the Israelites knew about. He lived in the land of Syria, which is north of Israel (Use a map to locate Syria). He was the commander of the army for the king of Syria. The king, his master thought that he was a great man and a mighty warrior. The king thought very highly of Naaman because the Lord had allowed his army to win the battle over Israel (Have a student read verse 1).
Naaman was an important man who seemed to have everything going for him. Notice what the end of verse 1 says. “But he had leprosy.” In Bible times leprosy was an incurable disease. It was a horrible skin disease that started out with red spots on a person’s skin. Those red spots turned into white splotches all over the body. (Use cotton balls and powder on anyone who would like to participate) (The following description of leprosy may need to be adapted to the needs of your students) The skin would then begin to eat away at itself and would leave open wounds and scars. Because the skin was basically rotting away people would lose their fingers and even their face would deform, as their disease got worse. Eventually the person with leprosy would die. Not only was this an incurable disease it was very contagious so people with the disease were supposed to stay away from others.
Even though Naaman seemed to have everything, leprosy was a devastating disease that he was facing. His wife and all those who loved him and cared for him must have been very concerned about his future and maybe they even feared that they would catch leprosy too.
When Naaman’s soldiers fought against Israel they captured many people and brought them back to Syria to be slaves. One of those slaves was a young girl. We don’t know much about her. Maybe she was outside playing near her home in Israel when the Syrian army rode up in a chariot and captured her and took her back to Syria to be a slave. This young girl was from Israel and even though most people in Israel at that time were rebellious against God, this young girl knew Him. Although she was now facing a very difficult situation by being taken away from her home and family, she knew that God had a plan for her life. She was being given an opportunity to share God’s love with those who do not know Him.
God has such a wonderful way of working out His plan. Of all the slaves that were taken from the land of Israel, this young girl became the servant for Naaman’s wife. As this young girl served Naaman’s wife she must have sensed the sadness and worry that was in her life because of Naaman’s leprosy.
This young girl was given an opportunity by God to be wise or to be foolish with that opportunity. She could choose to be foolish by being angry that she had been captured as a slave and hated Naaman and his wife for making her do servant’s work. She could choose to realize that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28) and use this opportunity to show this family who did not know the One, True God, His love.
Let’s see what she chose to do in verse three of our passage. She says, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”
This young girl knew that there was Someone who could heal Naaman and she knew that Elisha was God’s prophet who could help him. She chose to use her circumstance as a servant girl to help these people who needed to know of God’s love and care.
Naaman’s wife told him what the servant girl told her. Naaman then went to the King of Syria and told him what the girl had said. The king loved Naaman and must have been very concerned with his disease too. Surely he wanted his best commander to get well so he could continue to be in charge of his army. He said to Naaman, “by all means go and I will send a letter to the King of Israel.” He wrote the letter for the King of Israel and gave it to Naaman. Naaman took the King’s letter and brought gifts of his own to give to the one who could make him well. He took 10 talents of silver, 6,000 shekels of gold and 10 sets of clothing. In our day the gifts that he took with him would be valued at about 1.2 million dollars.
When Naaman arrived in Israel he took the letter from the King of Syria and gave it to the King of Israel. When the King of Israel read the letter he was very disturbed because he knew that he had no power to cure anyone. He also did not have a good relationship with Elisha. The King of Israel at this time was the son of Ahab and Jezebel. His name was Jehoram. He was evil but not as evil as his parents. He got rid of the things that caused people to worship Baal, but he still worshiped false gods, which is still evil, and a sin against God. The king was so distraught about this letter that he tore his clothes.
Someone who saw this event take place took the news to Elisha. When he heard about the king of Israel, the letter, and Naaman the leper, he sent for Naaman and wanted him to know that there was still a prophet of God in Israel.
Naaman and his servants who traveled with him came to the place where Elisha was staying. Elisha must have heard the noise and looked out his window and saw that Naaman had arrived. It seems as though Elisha would have come outside and greeted Naaman himself and then given him instructions about how to be healed from the leprosy. That is not what Elisha did. He sent someone outside with this message, (If you have time have a student read verse 10) “Go wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”
Naaman looked at this messenger from Elisha and turned away from this house. He was furious! He had it all figured out how this healing would take place. He thought that Elisha would come out and greet him, say some special thing over him and wave his arms and wah-lah he would be healed. That is not what happened at all. Worst of all, Elisha’s instructions to go and wash in the Jordan River was a disgusting thought. (Bring out two jars of water, one clean and one muddy) He knew the Jordan River was a very muddy dirty river. He knew that in the land where he lived there were clean rivers that would be much better for taking a bath in. He stomped off in a rage.
Naaman’s servants had an opportunity at this time too. They could just let their master blow his top and storm off and go back to Syria and die a leper. They could just keep their mouths closed and mind their own business.
That is not what they did. They went to Naaman and said, (have a student read verse 13) “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you have not done it? Why not do this small thing that he has asked you?” The servants encouraged Naaman to follow Elisha’s instructions.
Naaman, the great, mighty warrior who was used to being honored was now going to have to humble himself and do something that wasn’t anything close to what he expected to do for his healing. He could follow the servants’ advice or rage off remaining prideful and never be healed.
Thankfully, Naaman chose to humble himself and go down into the Jordan River. He went down 7 times (use your arm to represent Naaman going down and have the students count with you as you have your arm dip down) into the murky muddy waters of the river. On the seventh time down, when he came back up his flesh was healed and it was restored as new as a young boy’s skin.
Naaman went back to see Elisha to thank him for what he had done. He wanted to give him the gifts that he had brought. He stood before Elisha and said, “Now I know that there is no God in the entire world except in Israel. Please accept now a gift from your servant.”
Elisha wanted this man to fully understand that it was God alone who healed him. He wouldn’t take any gifts for something that God had done. He told Naaman that he would not accept a thing. Naaman urged him because he wanted to do something to show his gratitude but Elisha still said no.
On this day Naaman learned that there was a True God who loved and cared for him. His life was forever changed because of a young girl who used the opportunity that God had given her to speak up and share with her master about God. This one young girl who was just an ordinary young lady, made a big difference in the world of Naaman and his family.
You and I can make a difference in the lives of the people that God puts in our lives by using every opportunity to do what pleases Him. One day we will be amazed at how God used us to show others how there truly is a God who so loved the world!
Teacher preparation: Before class you can have verses written out on post-it notes and when students arrive you can see which children would like to volunteer to read the verses aloud when this part of your lesson takes place.
In the Bible leprosy is a picture of what sin does to men, women, boys and girls. Sin left untreated leads to death. (Romans 5:12, Romans 6:23, Romans 8:13) Sin is a disease each one of us is born with. Most people in the Bible who had leprosy were separated from the people they loved because their disease was contagious. Life for lepers would be lonely because they could not be with people they loved. In the same way with our sins, God cannot allow sin in His presence. Our sin separates us from God. We cannot have a relationship with Him or go to heaven when we die if we have sin in our lives. The slave girl in our story pointed Naaman to Elisha the prophet of God. She knew that Elisha would know what to do to help Naaman. This morning if you have the sin disease that has never been healed, you have come to the right place. The Bible shows us that God sent His perfect Son (who never sinned) to die on the cross for every man, woman, boy and girl’s sin. Jesus was placed in a tomb and three days later God raised Him from the dead! When a person recognizes that they have a sin problem they can come to God by believing in Jesus. When you believe in Jesus you are saying that you believe that Jesus died for your sins. He died in your place so that your sins could be forgiven. When you believe in Jesus your sins are forgiven and just as Naaman was cleansed from leprosy when he dipped in the Jordan River 7 times, your sins are cleansed from your life and God no longer sees your sin.
Today if you have never had your sins forgiven, will you respond as Naaman first did and say, that’s such a strange way to have my sins forgiven? Can’t I just be good and read my Bible and pray everyday to have a relationship with God and go to heaven when I die? Just as Naaman’s servants urged him to do what Elisha said, I am encouraging you to do what the Bible says, you have to believe in the Lord Jesus to be saved. Nothing else will take away your sins. (John 14:6, Acts 4:12, Acts 16:31) If you want to know more about how you can be saved please talk me after class (or if you have another helper that person can take the child/children to a place to answer questions and pray with child).
Close in prayer.
A review game that could be used with this lesson: Use a picture respresenting Naaman. Cover his body with pieces of paper with speckles representing leprosy. (Post-it notes would protect the picture you are using) If students answer question correctly they can remove a piece of paper from Naaman’s body.
1. Who is Naaman?
2. Where did Naaman live?
3. What difficulty was Naaman facing?
4. How did the slave girl from Israel use the opportunity God had given her?
5. When Naaman went to Elisha what did Elisha do?
6. Why was Naaman angry?
7. How did Naaman’s servants use the opportunity that they had to help Naaman?
8. How was Naaman healed?
9. Why did Elisha refuse to take Naaman’s gifts?
10. Who do you know that is in a difficult situation?
11. How can you encourage others to believe in God’s promises and obey Him?
12. How can you show God you are thankful for all He has done for you?
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