Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

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

Matthew 15:21-24

For the most part Jesus stayed away from the Canaanites, the original inhabitants of the land. He was a Jew, and the Jews considered these pagan persons to be unclean. He did the bulk of his teaching and healing in towns and villages that were exclusively Jewish. These were the people to whom he had been sent. But in this passage Jesus has traveled away from Galilee and has encountered a Canaanite woman who urgently demanded that he heal her daughter. We’re used to a compassionate Jesus and it may be a bit of a surprise that he ignores her. We forget how very Jewish Jesus was, and how rigid religious and national boundaries can be. Many of us know what that can be like. Some of us grew up in extremely intolerant households and were taught to stay away from people of other faiths or backgrounds. That was a huge issue in the early church and the Holy Spirit had to work overtime to finally overcome those prejudices. During his ministry Jesus did, very occasionally, surprise his disciples with his willingness to reach across boundaries, but only after his resurrection were the bulk of his followers willing to do the same. And some would say, we still have a long way to go!

Thought for the Day: Where have I experienced intolerance?


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