About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Was Jesus a Jerk?

Brian may blog about this, but I doubt it since he's all but given up blogging. The other night he taught about this in church.





Matthew 21-28
From there Jesus took a trip to Tyre and Sidon. They had hardly arrived
when a Canaanite woman came down from the hills and pleaded, "Mercy, Master, Son
of David! My daughter is cruelly afflicted by an evil
spirit."




Jesus ignored her.



Did I read that right? Did it really say that Jesus ignored her?



The disciples came and complained, "Now she's bothering us. Would you please
take care of her? She's driving us crazy."
Jesus refused, telling
them, "I've got my hands full dealing with the lost sheep of
Israel."
Then the woman came back to Jesus, went to her knees,
and begged. "Master, help me."
He said, "It's not right to take
bread out of children's mouths and throw it to dogs."


And now he's calling her a dog?




She was quick: "You're right, Master, but beggar dogs do get scraps from the master's table."

Jesus gave in. "Oh, woman, your faith is something else. What you want is what you get!" Right then her daughter became well.

So what's up with this?

Was Jesus really calling her a dog - the equivalent of a slur in those days?

Yes, I believe He was. There's not much of a way around it. I've read the commentaries about it but frankly, I don't buy their take on it. They seem to be pretty concerned with protecting Jesus and I happen to believe that Jesus doesn't need protecting from the likes of us.

But isn't it out of character for Jesus to slam someone like that?

Maybe, but then again, He did call the religious leaders a "brood of vipers". And they were highly offended.

Here's my take on it...

I think Jesus, being God in the flesh, knew this woman. I believe He knew her character well enough to know that she would not be offended by the slur. I think she was one of those non-religious yet truly spiritual followers of Jesus who didn't try to put on pretenses but who was honestly able to admit her sinful state and had enough faith in Jesus to believe that He would honor her request. I think Jesus knew this in advance. I think He knew this lady practiced a more honest relationship with Him than did those who put faith in their holiness. And I think He knew this was a good opportunity to show that kind of faith to those who were watching.

He had just gotten finished offending the Pharisees ...


After that, Pharisees and religion scholars came to Jesus all the way from
Jerusalem, criticizing, "Why do your disciples play fast and loose with the
rules?"

But Jesus put it right back on them.
"Why do you use your rules to play fast and loose with God's commands?

You cancel God's command by your rules.
Frauds! Isaiah's prophecy of you hit the bull's-eye:

These people make a big show of saying the right thing,

but their heart isn't in it.
They act like they're worshiping me,

but they don't mean it.
They just use me as a cover
for teaching whatever suits their fancy."




I think God always honors honesty. I think He prefers it to piety. And I think He just loves to use the most unexpected people to teach us about Himself. That does fit with His character.


What do you think?

3 comments:

Barbara (aka Layla) said...

Wow. I think this is the best interpretation of these verses I have ever heard!!! It makes sense that Jesus knew her and therefore knew how she's react (or even if he didn't know her personally - he knew she was the type of person you could say that too). If Jesus was a jerk, we'd have lots more evidence of it - but what we have evidence of is the way he understood people, knew what they needed and took pleasure in blessing them.

Gary Means said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gary Means said...

"I think God always honors honesty. I think He prefers it to piety."
I agree! I think God would rather have us yell at Him, or talk to Him like Anne Lamott than to have us be nice little American Christians who really do not live in awareness of their tremendous need for His mercy, love, and grace.