This lesson was adapted for older students about Naaman and Elisha. The students discover that only faith in the Lord Jesus cleanses a person from the consequences of sin (death). This is only a guide, please adapt to the needs of your class.
Bible Passage: 2 Kings 5:1-9
Bible Story Title: Elisha and Naaman
Target Age Group: Ages 9-11 (3rd-5th Grade U.S.A.)
Target Time Frame: 60 Minutes
Original Teaching Context: Sunday School
Image Credits: Sweet Publishing and Distant Shores Media
Supply List: Bibles, cotton balls, baby powder, map of Syria, activity pages, pens/pencils
Learning Goal: Students will learn that only Jesus can forgive and cleanse people from their sins.
Learning Activity #1: Activity pages
Learning Activity #2: Use cotton ball dipped in baby powder/corn starch and dab students with spots.
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
Bible Lesson: Elisha and Naaman
(Begin with prayer)
Introduction to lesson:
Ask students if they have ever heard of leprosy. (Resource about leprosy http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n3/the-disease-that-shuns) Leprosy is a skin disease that is contagious. Eventually the disease causes the person who has it to lose feelings in their body and can really injure themselves because they can’t feel pain.
Today in our Bible lesson a man named Naaman has leprosy. The disease started with a little red spot that turned white and eventually there would be many spots on a person’s body. Choose a volunteer. Take a cotton ball and dip it into a dish of baby powder and put a white spot on the student’s hand or forearm (As you explain put a spot and add more spots on the volunteer).
If a person had leprosy they had to move away from their family and friends because this disease is contagious. The disease would separate you from those you love and force you to live away from them. If our volunteer had leprosy we would have to make him/her leave our class because if he stayed we would all be at risk for catching this disease.
This kind of leprosy found in the Bible is a picture of sin. Every person is born with sin. Sin is doing anything that breaks God’s commands. Sin separates us from having a relationship with God.
“Biblical leprosy is a powerful symbol reminding us of sin’s spread and its horrible consequences. Like leprosy, sin starts out small but can then spread, leading to other sins and causing great damage to our relationship with God and others.” Answers in Genesis
Let’s take a look at our Question of the day-“What heals us from our sin? Jesus heals us from our sin.”
Let’s open our Bibles and turn to 2 Kings 5 and learn about Naaman the man with leprosy.
Review key verse for the lesson series-2 Kings 17:13-14: The LORD warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments and My statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by My servants the prophets.” But they would not listen.
Let’s read 2 Kings 5:1. From this one verse tell me what you learned about Naaman. (Captain of the Syrian (Aramean) army, great man in the sight of the king of Syria, highly respected because God had given him victory over Israel, valiant warrior, leper)
(Show a map and where Syria is located in relation to Israel.) As you have been studying the Bible you have discovered that God’s people have not obeyed God’s laws. They ignored His prophets warning that if they did not repent (turn away from sin) and return to Him they would face punishment. Syria was a nation of people who did not worship the One True God. They worshiped idols and were enemies of the northern kingdom Israel. God used Syria as an instrument to punish Israel and allowed them to fight wars against them. In some of the wars the Syrian soldiers captured some of the people of Israel and took them back to Syria to be servants.
Read 2 Kings 5:2-3. Imagine you are this young girl from Israel. She had been taken captive by enemy soldiers. She did not live with her family and friends and now had to be a servant girl for Naaman’s wife. If you were in her situation what do you think your attitude would be like? (Allow responses) We don’t know what this girl felt like, surely she felt similar emotions as you have described. We don’t see her with a bad attitude in these verses. We see a young girl who knew there was a God in heaven who could heal sickness. She knew there was a true prophet living in Samaria who could help Naaman and she didn’t keep that good news to herself. By sharing this with Naaman’s wife this young girl showed love and kindness not bitterness and unforgiveness because of her situation. She couldn’t change the fact that she was a servant girl but she could be faithful to God and share Him with others.
- If you are a follower of Christ and are in a difficult situation are you so angry, disappointed, sad etc. that you don’t see opportunities to help those around you to learn about Jesus? Our difficulties will only be temporary because we believe in the Lord Jesus. When we leave this earth we will no longer have to suffer. Just like this servant girl we can trust that God is in control and places us where He wants us to be. Like this girl we also have Good News to share with those who do not believe in the Lord Jesus. What is the Good News? Jesus died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day. All who believe in Him will be forgiven of sin and will live eternally with Him.
Naaman took the advice of this young girl and went and asked the king of Syria if he could go see this prophet in Israel. The king wanted Naaman to be healed of this terrible illness and gave him permission to go. He gave Naaman a letter to give the king. Naaman left with the king’s letter and gifts of gold, silver and clothing to pay the prophet for healing.
Let’s read 1 Kings 5:6-7. What did the king do when he read the letter? (He tore his robes and thought that Naaman was there to start a war) The king of Israel is very different than the young girl serving Naaman’s wife. She isn’t focused on herself and her situation. She was concerned for the health of her master and knew that God could heal him. The king of Israel misunderstood the letter and took it the wrong way. He was kind of a ‘drama king’ in the way he reacted because it doesn’t appear that he has the prophet of God in his thoughts.
Read 1 Kings 5:8. Elisha hears about the king’s reaction and asks for Naaman to come to his house. “Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.”
Elisha’s statement to the king is sad. The people of Israel are God’s people. They have been given His promises and they have turned away from Him and ignore His messengers the prophets. Naaman is not an Israelite and Elisha said ‘he will know there is a prophet in Israel.’
Naaman and his men went to Elisha’s house. When they arrived Elisha didn’t come to the door. Elisha’s servant opened the door and gave this message to Naaman, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”
Naaman is furious! First he is offended because Elisha didn’t even come to the door and speak to him face to face. He thought that Elisha would come to him, wave his hand over him and say you are healed! He was offended at the thought that he was told to dip in the Jordan River seven times. The Jordan River was a muddy, dirty river and the rivers that were in Syria were much better to dip in to be cleansed. He had come all this way and this is what he gets? He stormed off in a rage.
Read 2 Kings 5:13. Naaman’s servants are a gift to him. They could have avoided him because he was furious but they chose to speak truth to him. When they spoke wisely to him he obeyed Elisha’s instructions. He went to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times. Let’s find out what happens when Naaman obeys in 2 Kings 5:14.
- If you are a believer and have been sharing Jesus with someone you love and they seem like they don’t care or get angry when you talk about Jesus, don’t give up. Keep praying for them and ask God to help you speak truth to this person.
Read 2 Kings 5:15. Naaman obeyed Elisha’s instructions and was completely healed! He now believed that ‘there is no God in all the world except in Israel’. He wanted to give Elisha his gifts of gold, silver and clothes but Elisha refused them.
Naaman was clean on the outside and inside. What I mean by that is that not only was his leprosy gone his heart was changed. He knew that it would be wrong to bow down to any other god but to God Himself. He knew he was going back to Syria and would be serving the king who worshiped a false god in the temple of Rimmon. He asked that the LORD would forgive him when he went in there with the king. Elisha told Naaman to go home in peace.
As we close our lesson for today this story of Naaman is a great picture of salvation. Naaman was separated from God because of his sin. He got leprosy which could not be cured. This sickness caused him to be open to the message his wife’s servant girl about seeing the prophet in Israel. He went with his own idea of how he would be healed but had to humble himself and choose to follow the instructions Elisha gave. When he obeyed by faith he was completely healed and believed that God was the only true God.
Today some of you may not be followers of Christ. You may think that you are a good person, you read your Bible, sit quietly in Sunday School, give money in the offering etc. and that will allow your sins to be forgiven and you will be allowed to enter heaven one day. None of those things can remove your sins before God. (Titus 3:5 “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.” Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”)
There is only one way for sins to be forgiven and removed. “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Hebrews 9:22 Jesus is perfect Son of God who came into this world and lived a sinless life. When He died on the cross He shed His blood so all who believe in Him can have their sins forgiven.
There is no other way for anyone to be saved except through faith in Jesus Christ. He said in John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Our memory verse says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 You can have your sins forgiven by putting your faith in Jesus who died in your place for your sins, was buried and rose again. If you have any questions about how to be forgiven of your sins please talk to me after we pray.
If you are a follower of Christ are you telling those that God has placed in your life who are not believers in Jesus? Are you encouraging those who are believers to trust and obey God even when they don’t understand? God will give you His power to say and do what He wants you to do to point others to Jesus.
Close in prayer.
- Who is Naaman? (Captain of the Syrian army)
- What disease did Naaman have? (leprosy)
- Who told Naaman’s wife about the prophet in Israel who could heal Naaman? (The servant girl from Israel)
- Why was Naaman angry when he got Elisha’s instructions? (They weren’t what he expected. He expected Elisha to greet him at the door, not send a messenger, wave his hand over him and pronounce him clean, and tell him to dip in one of his own rivers)
- How did Naaman’s servants help him? (Encouraged him to do what Elisha said)
- What was the result of Naaman’s obedience? (He was completely healed)
- There were many characters in our story today. Who do you feel like is most like you? Why?
- Young servant girl
- King of Israel
- Naaman’s servants
- What did you learn from our lesson today and how will you put into practice what you have learned?