God's Divine Healing: A Means of Redemption, Part EightWednesday, October 05, 2005
The Samaritans were half-breeds. They were the offspring of poor, left-over Jews - left behind in Israel during the Babylonian conquest and captivity - and Gentiles from surrounding lands. The result was generations of people who were half-Jew and half-Gentile. It is no wonder then that they were utterly despised by the Jews, for they had broken God's law regarding intermarrying. (This was, of course, a primary issue Nehemiah dealt with after rebuilding the walls - cf. Nehemiah 13:23 ff). The Samaritans were so despised, in fact, that people traveling from the north to the south would rather travel around the entire region than set one foot in it. That is racism to the hilt!
But Jesus loved half-breeds! In Luke 17:11 we find Jesus traveling toward Jerusalem. On the way there He entered a village where ten lepers resided. They stood and met him at a distance, according to verse 12. They cried out as most other sick persons cried out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Again, they were outcasts, one of whom at least was a half-breed. We know this from verse 16 because out of the ten that were healed, only one came back. “One of them, when he saw that the had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he feel on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan” (vv. 15-16). Here then is a half-breed, already hated and avoided because of his leprosy, but hated and rejected further because of his race. Yet God redeemed him through the mercy of divine healing.
The last example from the ministry of Jesus occurred in the town where He had turned water into wine, the city of Cana. There was a nobleman who lived there, a royal official of some sort for King Herod presumably. He may have been a man named Chuza, a steward of Herod (Luke 8:3), or perhaps he was Menaen, Herod’s foster brother (Acts 13:1). Either way, my point here is to affirm that which Matthew Henry stated: “There were saints in Caesar’s household.”
This man’s daughter dying from sickness, he desired Jesus’ healing. He wanted Jesus to come to his house, but Jesus simply healed his daughter from a distance, merely speaking the word of healing. The nobleman believed it and went home to see the truth. The result was that “he himself believed, and his whole household” (v. 53). So then, an entire household is found believing in God, redeemed from sin, because of Jesus’ gracious, divine healing.