Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Shocked by Jesus

Today I was at the Uni Bible Talks organised by Evangelical Students on campus. Andrew Brown spoke on the following passage from Matthew 15
22And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon."23But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away, for she is crying out after us." 24He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." 25But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." 26And he answered, "It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs." 27She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table." 28Then Jesus answered her, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed instantly.
This is certainly not an easy passage to understand! One might think Jesus was uncaring or even derogatory towards the suffering woman. But, I wonder if Jesus actions and this account are meant to shock us. We need to see the desparate state we are in because of our rebellion against God. Rather than passing judgement on Jesus we should be identifying with the Canaanite woman (descended from the enemies of Gods people and purposes) and casting ourselves at the mercy of the Messiah.

The painting above is
Christ and the Canaanite Woman
Germain-Jean Drouais

I found it here

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