Matthew 15:(10-20), 21-28 – The 10th Sunday of Ordinary Time â€“ for Sunday, August 17, 2014
â€œYes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masterâ€™s table.â€ (Matthew 15:27)
First, Jesus ignored the woman . . . But he did not answer her at all.
Then, Jesus claimed she wasnâ€™t on his to-do list . . . I was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Finally, Jesus insulted her . . . It is not fair to take the childrenâ€™s food and throw it to the dogs.
The third time certainly wasnâ€™t charming for the person known in Matthew as â€œthe Canaanite woman.â€ According to Prince of Peace, the Lamb of God, the One who would become the Christ, she apparently was no better than a wayward mongrel, scrabbling for discarded food.
Usually, when I read these unnerving and stark verses, I admire the courage of the Gospel writer to show Jesus in an unflattering light. I am enthralled with Jesusâ€™s change of mind. For here, in the middle of Matthew, there was odd evidence that flamed doubt about Jesus being â€œperfect.â€ Here, readers witnessed Jesus not as fully divine and fully human, but far from divine and frustratingly human. How fascinating to debate what this meant (and means) about Jesus, whether weâ€™re in seminary diligently studying for the ministry, pulpiteering in a church with far from divine and frustrating humans, or cornered by a grumpy agnostic at a garage sale.
How â€˜bout that irksome, insulting, irritating Jesus!
And yet today, in this next reading of a familiar passage, Iâ€™m not much interested in Jesus and his heartlessness or in his change of heart.
Itâ€™s that woman. Continue reading →