Boundaries that burden – Day 12
1. A non-Jewish woman, a Canaanite cries out to Jesus, asking him to help her daughter who “is suffering terribly from demon-possession”. As a woman, a gentile and a foreigner she certainly did not know her place! “Send her away, for she keeps crying after us”, the disciples advises Jesus. What follows is a profound theological discussion. What is it about the woman’s argument that was persuasive?
2. A closer look at the text and its context points to the fact that Jesus’ reference to ‘dogs’ was describing a normal practice, not confirming it. Jews, who believed themselves to be superior in the eyes of God, usually referred to Gentiles as dogs. Besides, Jesus had already granted a similar request from a Gentile man who, like the Gentile woman, asked Jesus’ help on behalf of someone else (Matthew 8:5-13). What burdens of discriminatory prejudices do boundaries based on race, class and gender do you see in your own context?
3. The Canaanite woman understands Jesus’s mission better than both the Pharisees who are blind guides (Matt 15:14) and the disciples who “are still dull” (Matt 15:16). Does the heading, “The Faith of the Canaanite Woman” convey all there is to this story?