“But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, ‘Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.’” vs. 23
Sometimes it’s hard for us to understand the words and actions of Jesus in the course of his ministry, probably because we are trying too hard to make a Christian out of him. We forget that he was thoroughly Jewish and had been steeped in the law of Moses through his entire life. Generally he stayed away from Gentile cities and only occasionally interacted with the Roman occupiers. He had no strong desire to hang with foreigners and believed that his mission was to restore the kingdom to Israel. Of course society wasn’t totally segregated and periodically outsiders like this Canaanite woman sought him out for assistance. His first impulse is to ignore her…much like we try to ignore the needy people we encounter on the streets. We tell each other, “Don’t make eye contact…maybe they’ll go away,” and wish that we didn’t have to deal with such folks. That’s certainly how the disciples were feeling. They considered the woman a nuisance…but they couldn’t shut her up. She knew that God’s mercy was for her too…and that Jesus could help her. So she kept on shouting, and finally the barrier came crashing down. The outsider was heard and her prayers were answered.
Thought for the Day: When do beggars bug me the most?