“Then his servants came near and spoke to him and said, ‘My father, had the prophet told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?’” -2 Kings 5:13, NASB
Ironically, people are sometimes more willing to do difficult things than easy. Easy things seem beneath them. Too unsophisticated. They’d rather maintain their dignity and do something challenging than humble themselves and do something simple.
Naaman, a Syrian leper, felt this way. Elisha told him to dip in the Jordan River seven times to be healed. He pridefully resisted until his servant exposed his double standard. Naaman would happily do “some great thing” to be cleansed. Why, then, did he refuse to wash in the Jordan? Naaman saw his folly, obeyed Elisha’s command, and was healed.
Those outside of Christ need spiritual cleansing. God requires baptism to be saved (1 Pet. 3:21), along with other requirements. Baptism is immersion in water, like Naaman’s requirement — only God doesn’t require a person to dip seven times, just once. And God doesn’t specify which body of water to use. And any body of water will do. Naaman’s command was easy; baptism is even easier.
Still, some people refuse to do it. They’ll regularly attend worship services and Bible class. They’ll bend over backward to serve others. They’d “give you the shirt off their back” if need be. But get baptized? Nah. They’d rather do the hard stuff.
Why would a person spend lots of time and energy doing godly things and yet consciously resist such an easy command as baptism, especially when his salvation hangs in the balance? Perhaps the reason is pride.
Like Naaman before his cleansing, some individuals lack the humility to lower themselves to the point baptism for the remission of sins. Maybe they see baptism as base and nonsensical. Maybe they’re unwilling to admit they’re lost in their sins. Maybe baptism flies in the face of their personal theology. Pride is the root of all these barriers.
If this describes you, you have the same choice as Naaman. Will you continue to resist God’s simple command, or will you humbly submit to His will and be saved from your spiritual leprosy?