I've read, re-read, and read again this Chapter, and have disliked every single sentence, except for verse 28. I could never understand, how the loving Jesus I knew, was treating this poor lady as cruelly as was being portrayed.
Then I went to a class called KAIROS in Louisville, KY. And God opened my blind eyes to what was NOT written on the page. Now I LOVE THESE VERSES!!
I understand, now, that Jesus was using satire humor, something that I am quite familiar with.
What I didn't read, all of this time, was the "in-between" things that were going on between Jesus and the Canaanite woman. For instance: verse 23 Jesus didn't answer (how rude! I had thought), BECAUSE he was waiting on the disciples reaction (would they finally get the teachings Jesus had been teaching day after day...no). Unfortunately they were thinking, "FINALLY Jesus gets what we've been trying to tell him. God isn't for Canaanite dogs! God is for blessing Jews only, because WE are His chosen." (WRONG AGAIN!!)
Jesus tries again to prod the disciples to doing the right thing: Jesus answered, "It is not right to take the children's bread (God's blessings on the Jews) and toss it to their dogs (the slang for Canaanites/gentiles)." ((and what was NOT written, that I FINALLY GOT...)) as he winked at the Canaanite woman, when the disciples were not looking.
((again reading between the lines)) The Canaanite woman, catching Jesus's wink, plays along with a sly grin, "Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."
((between the lines)) Seeing that he now has the full attention of the disciples, who are getting the jest of what is happening, Jesus looks at the disciples and says: "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted."
The Jews knew that they were a blessed nation from WAY back in Genesis, chapter 12, when God told Abram, "I will bless you". What the Jews chose to ignore was the rest of the verse that states "...and you WILL BE a blessing...and all peoples on earth will be blessed THROUGH YOU."
They put themselves above all non-Jews and treated them like "dogs". What Jesus was trying to teach them is that they weren't there to get and keep all of the blessings to themselves, but to share them with the "lesser" peoples of the earth. Look at your neighbor with LOVE, and not as a DOG! If you love your neighbor as yourself, then they cease being dogs, and become brothers/sisters.
What wonderful verses! Jesus using good humor, a willing accomplice, and some chastened disciples to explain a covenant that was given, by God, to the Jews at the beginning of time.
Now, how will we pass this message along? Until next time...
We will be heading to Italy at the end of September for a couple of weeks. During this time, we will be meeting our (hopefully) future teammates and deciding where God will place us.
Please pray for safe travels, funds, health, and safety of those who will be care taking our animals while we are abroad.