The story in Matthew 15: 10-28 of the Canaanite woman is a difficult one for many reasons. It forces us to ask questions about Jesus, which are uncomfortable. It raises issues about the divinity of Jesus, the characteristics of God and who is included in God’s plan for creation. We know Jesus as the Prince of Peace and Emmanuel. Yet, in our story for Sunday we witness a Jesus who is nasty in his response to a woman from a different ethnic group.
Living in Canada today this image of Jesus is distasteful. We live in a country which encourages tolerance and celebrates diversity. We think of Jesus as one who welcomes all people, so why do he react in such a way? What is going on below the surface that we might not instantly realize?
As you prepare for worship this Sunday I encourage you to reflect on this passage. Spend time in prayer on it. Consider the questions below to allow you to begin thinking about the passage beyond its initial impressions.
- Jesus is clearly concerned with pure words versus following traditional purity laws. What obstacles or traditions keep you from a full relationship with God?
- Does the Canaanite’s woman’s response to Jesus really surprise him?
- As God’s son is it possible for Jesus to learn or was he born knowing everything?
- How much did being human change Jesus?
- What does this passage teach us about how you interact with others?
- How does the Canaanite woman’s faith impact your own faith?
Text: Matthew 15: 10-28
I look forward to seeing everyone at worship this Sunday @ 10:30 am. Nursery facilities are available and a time for refreshment and conversation will follow the service.