One of the parables that Jesus told about healing was with an aromatic essential oil. More than likely it stunned his audience. It concerned how we are to generously heal one another with healing substances-particularly essential oils. We all are familiar with the story of the Good Samaritan in which Jesus extols the Samaritan for his compassionate healing of a stranger. In this parable, the Samaritan poured wine and oil into the man’s wounds. The wine we know would have acted as an antiseptic cleansing the wounds because of its alcohol content. The oil was probably not just any cooking or lamp oil but a healing aromatic essential oil that even in those days would have been extremely expensive. Think about it. Why would a traveler be going down a road carrying his cooking oil? It does not make sense. But what traveler would set out on a long journey and not have a first-aid kit with him-just in case he needed it. Aromatic essential oils were their medicine chest. These oils were used for all kinds of medical problems including injuries, traumas, fractures, skin problems as well as internal problems like digestive upsets, breathing and kidney problems.
Jesus’ audience would have been very impressed with these actions and with the Samaritan’s generosity to use his own healing oil on a stranger. Unfortunately in our modern-day retelling of this story, we only remember how significant it was that the Samaritan was a hated second-class citizen looked down upon by his Jewish counterpart.
As Jesus relates the story, the Samaritan left the wounded man in the care of the innkeeper and generously offered to pay for any additional care the man might need. The use of the oil and the wine in this story was a mark of how great this man’s compassion was towards a total stranger’s predicament. The clincher in this story, however, was when Jesus advised his listeners to be as generous and caring in their healing of one another as this Samaritan. I can just imagine the uproar this would have caused. It’s one thing to use an expensive aromatic essential oil on yourself or a family member-but for a stranger? And a Samaritan at that?! Jesus went too far in this parable for some to listen to him.
The Good Samaritan Story is One for Our Day
How does this parable about healing relate to our modern day? The Samaritan had compassion for a fellow human being who was injured and in need of help. He did not hesitate to share what he had even though that meant he was then without. What can we share with others who are in need of healing in body/mind/spirit? First-we can share our knowledge on how to use essential oils for health and healing. There are hundreds of different essential oils, each with a different chemistry, different healing properties, and different methods of administration-inhalation, rubbing them on the body, and some can even be taken internally. Second, we can share the essential oils we do have with others-either showing them how they may obtain these precious healing oils that come from nature and not a laboratory, or giving some of our essential oils to those in need. Sharing from the heart is what the parable of the Samaritan is all about. And when we share our knowledge and our oils, we are in turn lifted up spiritually as part of the family of man.
How can we learn today the ancient art of healing with aromatic essential oils? Educational courses that are Christian-based can help us reclaim our rightful role in healing and anointing for health of body/mind/spirit. the Institute of Spiritual Healing and Aromatherapy does just that.