As we push through the middle chapters of the book of Matthew, we have to engage with some very difficult thoughts and ideas about the ministry of both Jesus and the disciples.
But (the Canaanite woman) knelt before Jesus and said, ‘Lord, help me!’ Jesus answered, ‘It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.’
Well, here we go. That is not the reply we expect from the docile, friendly, loving Jesus that we are so accustomed to talking about. What’s going on in this passage? Why would Jesus say that? Is he really implying that this Gentile is a dog?
At stake this week is the good news about the faith of a woman in a saviour she’d only heard about. The heart of this gospel account contains a culture shift, a change in focus from the people Jesus had been called to, to a people who needed his help desperately.
This Sunday, struggle with me through Matthew 15:21-28. Wrestle with the text, bring your Bible on Sunday and let’s go through this verse by verse.
Remember, though, that Matthew is writing to a group of Jewish believers. Also, take into account the context of what has happened at the start of Matthew 15. Let’s see where it takes us.