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The Jesus I Don’t Understand

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Well, it was bound to happen… I finally got to the point in Matthew (15:21-28) where I re-read the story of the Canaanite woman who came to Jesus to ask Him to save her daughter from demon possession*. She begs Jesus to help, and first, He ignores her. (Not very nice.) They continue to walk, and she continues to plead with Jesus for help. The disciples want to send her away. Jesus then says to her (and I’m paraphrasing), “Why should I help you? Should I take food from the children and give it to dogs?”

Now I know Jesus was speaking metaphorically here, but still!! This was a woman begging, not for herself but for her child, and this is how Jesus responds?! What is up with that?! Granted, in the end, her persistence showed her faith, and she got what she asked for, but I find Jesus’ response very cold and unkind.

How are we supposed to deal with that side of Jesus’ nature? I know all the commentaries say that He was revealing that His first priority was to the Jews…all well and good. But couldn’t He have communicated that to her and/or His disciples in a kinder way? Is that our example for behavior toward someone we don’t find high on our priority list?! Should I expect that kind of “comfort” when I bring my cares to Jesus?

I don’t get it. It bothers me. Anyone else got any ideas about this portrayal of Jesus? What are we supposed to make of it?

(*A side note: There must have been LOTS of demons roaming around Israel back then. It seems like every other chapter has Jesus casting them out of someone! Snork.)


Written by blogicalinks

October 26, 2006 at 3:24 pm

Posted in Seeking

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