Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Canaanite Woman

Are you still so dull?

Jesus put that question to his disciples in the 15th chapter of Matthew when they missed the point of his teaching. These men left their jobs and families to follow Jesus. Clearly, they were committed, but they didn’t always grasp the purpose of their mission.

There are two more examples of that in Matthew 15:21-39. Do we sometimes miss Jesus’ message? Are we so dull?

Lord Christ, I was puzzled about your encounter with the Canaanite woman. She implored you to heal her daughter.

Taken literally, you were rude to her. There must be more to the story because the woman professed belief, persisted with her request and the child was healed!

Were you baiting your disciples? Drawing attention to their inattention, to their prejudice?

The story unfolds…

You continue your healing ministry among the lame, maimed, blind and mute. The miracles reach a crescendo as you feed over four thousand people from a picnic basket.

Again, your disciples are running low on empathy and faith, while you teach a lesson in abundance.

Do I set my sights too low? Do obstacles overwhelm me? Do I exclude others from your grace?

Teach me your lessons, Jesus, in…

Belief. Persistence. Compassion. High expectations.
Even miracles. Amen.