The Gospel that seems too good to be true is true!
An affluent woman of Shunem took such delight in showing hospitality to the prophet of God, that she and her husband built an addition on to their house so Elisha would always have a place to stay and rest and pray. The great prophet of Israel was grateful and inquired of the unnamed woman what could be done for her in return.
Essentially, the Shunammite woman responded, “I’m good.” She seemed to have everything. She was healthy, prosperous and well-married. Still, Elisha asked his servant, “What can be done for her?” Elisha’s servant replied simply, “She has no son, and her husband is old.”
Miraculously (not presumptuously), Elisha got a word from the Lord and told the woman some joyous news: “… about this time next year, you shall embrace a son” (2 Kings 4:16, ESV).
The woman’s response was deep, emotional, and primal: Don’t lie to me man of God.
Elisha had touched the Shunammite woman’s deepest, most fragile longing. Like so many of us, she had settled into acceptance of life as it is. Suddenly, the great prophet dared to connect to her primal, desperate longing to be a mother.
Simply put, it just seemed too good to be true. Pastor Kenny Thacker has noted that the Shunammite woman’s response is the only genuine response any of us could have to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The gift of God in Jesus Christ is greater than any dream any of us would have ever dared to dream. To become a child of God by the gift of God rather than our own merits is our deepest desire. To be radically accepted and shown undeserved grace that makes us heirs of God our Father — it’s what we want and need and yearn for endlessly. It’s too good to be true, but it’s true.
Whenever I proclaim the Gospel, the announcement should come as such startling, preposterous news that everyone who hears it gasps and declares, “don’t lie to me man of God!” And that’s the Gospel!