August 10, 2011

That dog thing

Can we make a deal? Can we agree to quit watering down the stuuff that makes us uncomfortable? We don't like it that Jesus turns the tables in the Temple. We don't like that Jesus curses the fig tree. We don't like that Jesus calls the Canaanite woman a "dog."

So we try to soften it to make us feel better. "He was just joshing her, trying to teach the Pharisees and the Disciples a lesson." "He didn't call her a dog, he called her a puppy, it was cute not racist and condescending."

Oh come on!

This stuff should and does make us uncomfortable. Jesus was a Jewish rabbi. He lived in a culture that looked with contempt upon certain outside groups. He carried the same prejudices that we all struggle with. He had to deal with that universal question, "who's in and who's out?"

And he decided, learned, grew to understand (however you want to say it) that even the dogs, even the most outside, a Canaanite woman, was inside the realm of God's kingdom. Her persistance paid off. Her daughter was healed of her demon, and we, us gentile types, are now the predominent followers of Jesus, the Jewish Messiah.

It makes us uncomfortable, and that has to be OK. So what do we learn from our discomfort? What do we learn from Jesus?

1 comment:

Chris said...

Love this post. My sermon on Sunday hit this head on and was very well received. Time to deal with the whole Jesus!