Thursday, September 15, 2011
Matthew 15:21-28 Jesus Learns from the Canaanite Woman
21 Jesus left that place and went to the area of Tyre and Sidon.22 A Canaanite woman from that area came to Jesus and cried out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter has a demon, and she is suffering very much." 23 But Jesus did not answer the woman. So his followers came to Jesus and begged him, "Tell the woman to go away. She is following us and shouting."
24 Jesus answered, "God sent me only to the lost sheep, the people of Israel."
25 Then the woman came to Jesus again and bowed before him and said, "Lord, help me!"
26 Jesus answered, "It is not right to take the children's bread and give it to the dogs."
27 The woman said, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."
28 Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! I will do what you asked." And at that moment the woman's daughter was healed.
In this passage, many scholars believe Jesus has learned something. Here Jesus appears to dismiss the woman, claiming he is here to serve the people of Israel, but her rebuke gets his attention and he heals here. This tells us that Jesus is able to learn and did not know everything from the beginning. Here her challenge drives him to invite all people and extend his ministry to all people. This is likely a real event because of its detail, its inconsistency with the rest of his gospel message, and its shocking counter cultural message.