“Buying parts for my prize 1995 Dodge Dakota from a, “Junk Yard,” why I would never think of it, a pimento cheese sandwich maybe.” Prejudice gets expensive right here, for over a year now I have been riding around on an Engine from Bob’s Junk Yard, for over 8 years on tires, (I’ve had two sets ), even my seat belt, that wore out at 380,000 miles, came from Bob’s. I would bet no one couldn’t tell which of my seat belts came from 109-U-Pull-it. Truth is many, many used parts are just as good if not better than the new ones you may find.
The BIGGER challenge to the expense of prejudice, is people? Jesus came into a world of prejudice, the Jews especially considered most anyone one else beneath them, especially in matters of God (many still do, oops but so do many Christians and yes me too at times). The story of the Dog Women in Matthew 15: and Mark 7: is especially troubling to me.
Matthew 15 :21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly
Mark 7:24 And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. 25 But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28 But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.
My Emphasis added to the labels of the women. Both accounts have the labels but quite different from Matthew’s perspective than Mark’s whose Gospel was pointed more to the Romans, I understand where, Matthew’s , was to the Jews. So to the Jewish audience a Canaanite was a label like, Junk Yard; Mark made sure to note she was a Gentile and a Syrophoenician, also like a Junk Yard Women.
All week long I have been pondering this because its quite troubling to me that, Jesus would essentially call this women a dog. Far from the full of grace Jesus I know, so I have been searching for the deeper sense of what Jesus was doing here and in the moment. I now believe he was reflecting back to his audience, both the disciples, (who clearly wanted to send her away) and the women herself the agreement they were living under.
Satan’s strategy many times is to get us to make an agreement with his lies, (not a pimiento sandwich). These lies he slips into your head like: “she couldn’t possibly know how to help me, she’s a women and works at a Junk Yard.” Satan’s kingdom is the kingdom of lies but Jesus is of truth. So if Satan can get you to make an agreement with a lie you have now become a traitor to the Kingdom in opposition to the truth. Breaking those agreements will in fact set you free.
In this story, Jesus purposefully traveled all the way North to Tyre. This trip was about 60 miles, and here among the gentiles I believe he had a serious lesson for his disciples on prejudice and faith. In that moment, (if you will allow me to propose what may have gone on), this women who had fallen at his feet was looking up in his eyes and his disciples were behind her also looking into Jesus eyes, then with a look that in my view that only Jesus can give, (and I say that because I’ve gotten it), He Said, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs”.
The statement is true, but the question I believe Jesus is asking is; who are the children and who are the dogs? The answer we discover by what happens is that the people of faith are the children and they are not automatically children by where or to whom they were born, but by their belief in the Son of God.
These disciples were clearly amazed that Jesus would heal such a women’s daughter. Jesus brought to light the truth so that all present would break their agreements on who was rightfully entitled to Jesus healing. Truly, its those who believe He can.