Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Matthew 15: 21-28

21 Jesus went away from there, and withdrew into the district of Tyre and Sidon.

22 And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed."

23 But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, "Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us."

24 But He answered and said, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

25 But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, "Lord, help me!"

26 And He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."

27 But she said, "Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."

28 Then Jesus said to her, "O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed at once.

Reading this, I wonder, do you think that Jesus' responses to the woman at first are meant to be a test? He rejected her, at first, turning her away because she was not Jewish, but then, when she persisted, asking for even the smallest crumb of the help and salvation that He had brought, He praised her faith (and her determination? her perspicacity in recognizing Him for Who He was?) and healed her daughter from the demons.


  1. I remember reading about this in "Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes." The author wondered if Jesus were also teaching his disciples at the same time. Notice they wanted to send her away. Yes, Jesus was ignoring her, but they likely were irritated with her

    1. She wasn't Jewish
    2. She was a woman
    3. She was yelling

    The author of JTMEE reminded me of how sometimes when our racism is pointed thrown back into our faces and "said out loud" (like Jesus was speaking of her people as dogs) then it has more of a shock value. It's one thing to have buried racism - thinking that blacks aren't as great as whites or calling blacks "monkeys", but when it's said out loud BY A HOLY MAN it seems much more shocking to realize "wow, I think this way?" *blush, blush*

    So I don't know if that is part of it or not, but that book was helpful to me in explaining this.

    I like that she recognized Jesus as someone who could help her...and persisted with faith. What a lesson.

    Did I mention I like these posts? :)

  2. Interesting. I didn't think of it that way, but it does make some sense. A sort of, 'Look how you sound.' Because sometimes hearing things come from people we respect makes us really hear what we've been saying. And Christ was basically spelling out the implied attitude of the disciples.

  3. Yes, I don't know if that is the reason, but that explanation made some sense to me. It doesn't seem like Jesus' MO to go around calling people dogs when He is generally portrayed as willingly helping people [even Gentiles], being moved by compassion. But since he said he was sent to the house of Israel here and then called her "dog" perhaps he was trying to confront some of the Jewish object lesson of sorts. It's interesting to thing about anyway.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...