Gehazi is any interesting figure to me. He had the incredible privilege of serving under the great prophet Elisha. Can you imagine what that must have been like? I mean, wake up every morning knowing that you’ll be hanging out with Elisha. It doesn’t get much better than that.
I sometimes try to imagine what it would have been like if I had been able to hang around a great man of God like this. How would his life impact me? Would I be satisfied and fulfilled just by knowing the wonderful opportunity God had provided for me?
I also think about the same thing in relation to Yeshua. Honestly, I can’t imagine myself messing up like His close associates did. It just seems obvious to me that being in the presence of God Incarnate would change me to the very core. Why would I still want to act like the idiot I am knowing that I stand in the presence of Omniscience?
But … alas …
Back to Gehazi.
Naaman, the captain of the host of Syria was a leper. The Syrians had captured some Israelites among whom was one girl that waited on Naaman’s wife. This Israelite girl suggested that her master go see Elisha to get cured. Naaman goes to see Elisha and eventually dips seven times in the Jordan and gets cured. Naaman then wants to give Elisha a blessing but Elisha refuses it. Elisha sends him on his way without taking any remuneration.
Gehazi doesn’t quite understand Elisha’s logic and decides to get some profit out of this for himself. And so he does. But surprisingly, he seems to forget that God sees all and that he is servant to a very spiritually aware man of God.
When Gehazi gets back, Elisha questions him about where he had gone and he lies right to the face of his friend, mentor, and master. Elisha of course isn’t fooled for one minute and asks Gehazi if now is the time to profit in such a manner. For his deception he receives the leprosy of Naaman as does his seed forever! That didn’t turn out so well.
This is all so intriguing to me. Gehazi should have known better. How could he have been with Elisha and still not really know Elisha? It is interesting to me that sometimes those closest to us don’t really know or understand us. Gehazi knew he shouldn’t do what he did in the name of Elisha and yet he did. My sort of thinking is that — friends don’t do this to friends. If anything, genuine love should cause us to go the extra mile to maintain the integrity of our friends.
So … to flip it around some … what kind of friend, servant, believer am I in relation to my fellow brothers and sisters in Messiah? It’s always easy for me to point out how I’ve been mistreated or misunderstood. But if I’m not careful I will fail to see how I’ve been guilty of the same behavior. And when I do realize it, I am deeply saddened.
One final thought.
I usually don’t see these sort of things in my own life until it has happened to me. So when I’m in the process of being righteously indignant thinking I’ve been mistreated or misunderstood, it seems there is in the background of my thoughts this still small voice saying: Warren, you’re really getting a glimpse into who YOU are and don’t like what you’re seeing.
Thank God that He somehow knows how to put up with all our childish pettiness. The truth is there’s not one of us any less guilty than Gehazi.
And so ends the lesson of Gehazi.