Daily Office Readings for Tuesday of Proper 20: Year 1
Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, thought, ‘My master has let that Aramean Naaman off too lightly by not accepting from him what he offered. As the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something out of him.” (2nd Kings 5:20)
I mentioned in Part 1 of Sunday last that there would be more to follow regarding Gehazi. Because there was something wrong in the soul of Gehazi, he could not help the dying child as instructed by Elisha when he was told to take his staff and lay it upon the face of the child. Indeed, there was something corrupt in the soul of Gehazi, it seems to have something to do with his feelings toward “that Aramean Naaman.”
Instead of leaving the decision of Elisha as it was regarding payment by Naaman, Gehazi goes after more. He is greedy and he wants to see Naaman pay more dearly. This is sad. And, he doesn’t get away with it. Elisha informs him upon his return, “Did I not go with you in spirit when someone left his chariot to meet you? Is this a time to accept money and to accept clothing, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, and male and female slaves? (2nd Kings 5:26). And therefore Elisha put the leprosy on Gehazi. What a shame
Gehazi followed a short line of Prophets beginning with Elijah. The spirit was passed on to Elisha. Perhaps with prayer, God would have endowed Gehazi in the same way. But Gehazi was selfish, revengeful and not given to the real care of community.
When we follow worthy mentors, we must examine their conduct very carefully. We should not second guess them if found to be good people. If we don’t agree with their way of life, then perhaps it would be better to move to another mentor. The power of the prophet is not destroyed, it is passed on. But the recipient must be worthy; that is, loving, understanding, selfless and obedient, given to prayer and real concern for the care of his or her community. These traits are what will enable the protégé to become a mentor one day. That is, they will discipline themselves to listen, love, learn, live and finally, to lead as others have, who have gone on before, have also done.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John