My Daily Journal:
Today’s lesson is another in tearing down old “support structures” so Jesus can renovate the apostles into His church.
Many will look at this passage and think about the interactions between Jesus and the woman. But, it is important to keep in mind the other people in the room: the apostles. What was Jesus teaching them?
To get to that we need to back up a little bit. We know from Matthew and Mark that this woman was a Syrophoenician women from Tyre and Sidon. We look at that today and say, “so what?” But, to the observant Jew of that time, being raised in the lessons of the old testament, this fact meant a lot. To put it in perspective, think about whatever the seedest part of the nearest big city is to where you live; the part of town that shows up in the news for drug dealing and prostitution every week. Now picture a woman from that part of town showing up on your doorstep one day and refusing to go away. For the people of Jesus’ day, a Syrophoenician women from Tyre and Sidon would have immediately brought to mind Jezebel. Not only a gentile, but all the images of idol worship and sexual debauchery would have been a standard stereotype.
The apostles urged Jesus to “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” Jews crying out after them was nothing knew, but they would have had a completely different stereotype bias against a Jezebel.
Jesus even plays to this in His lesson. “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” Go back and look at how Jezebel died to catch the nuance in that line.
But, Jesus did not see her the same way. He wanted to remove the blindness of the apostles who could not see past her nationality and race and area of origin. What Jesus saw was a woman who had great faith.
Would it offend you to be categorized along side a dog? Would that turn you away from your focus? Let’s be honest, in comparison to God we are less than dogs are to man. We have no right to sit at the master’s table, we have no way of earning that right. But Jesus invites us to be His brothers and sisters. He adopts us into His family. Plus, in God’s economy, getting the left-overs and hand-me-downs is not such a bad thing. Every time they feed large groups of people there is more food left-over than there was to start with!
John 7:1 After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. (if you look at Parallel Bible / Harmony of the Gospels, this is the passage from John tied to this story in Matthew and Mark)
Lord, Son of David – She was a descendent of Ham, cursed by Noah to be servant of servants, ancestors often worshipped idols – Jezebel from Tyre & Sidon
Rom 1:16, to the jew first and then to the greek, to test her, to clarify, to give her the better portion
very willing to take the crumbs that fall from their master’s table
He went to a house, didn’t want people to know, gentile, syrophoenician race, let the children be satisfied first
She went with the parable – even the dogs… very willing to accept the position of a dog to heal her daughter
love of daughter, belief in Jesus as Lord, Son of God, understood what it meant to be demon-possessed
prayers for family
daughter was healed, demon left, example for future christians, great faith, in the bible
faith is confidence in hope assurance in not seen, impossible to please God without faith