There are passages of Scripture where we find ourselves uncomfortable. It could be a scene that describes something we find difficult to understand. Stories, as well, where we are left wondering if God’s holy love could be seen. There are also moments in Scripture we find uncomfortable because we wish Jesus had not said what we did.
We find ourselves, this morning, looking at one of those uncomfortable passages. Not because the story’s outcome is uncomfortable. Indeed, it is a wonderful and powerful moment where Jesus heals a Canaanite woman’s daughter who was demon possessed. What we find uncomfortable is how Jesus interacts with this woman. He ignores her. At first, he seems to dismiss her concern. He even goes so far as to call her a dog.
It is difficult to read these words and reconcile it with the Jesus we know to be the author and giver of unconditional love and grace. Because of this we have spent centuries trying to analyze Jesus’ motives and interactions. Some have argued Jesus was only testing the woman to determine her level of faith. Some have said Jesus was simply following the customs of the day. Others have said he wasn’t dismissive of the woman’s concerns at all. Continue reading “Persistent Faith”