Monday, August 11, 2014
Matthew 15:21-28 has perhaps the most unlikely words of Jesus in the entire New Testament. Later in the week I'd like to share with you what some scripture scholars write about its meaning, but in this post let me tell you what my own imagination has come up with. I have found no scholar that even mentions anything like this.
Jesus has fed 5,000 and walked on the water and debated. As a full human being, as well as God, he needs some time off. He decides to go to the beach to relax. "Downeeocean," as we say in Baltimore. This vacation takes him into non-Jewish territory.
A pagan woman comes to him and asks him to heal her daughter. Jesus says, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel....It is not right to take the food of children and throw it to the dogs." Again as a full human being, Jesus is feeling prejudice toward this non-Jew.
Racial prejudice is a feeling. When we act on the feeling we are in the realm of morality. Racial discrimination is wrong. Jesus rises above his feeling of prejudice to heal the woman's daughter.
Jesus within us can help us to rise above whatever feelings of prejudice we may have to treat every human being with justice and love.