September 10, 2012: Even Jesus is wrong occasionally.

Posted on : Sep 10th, 2012 | By | Category: Still Speaking

For those who think religion, or more specifically Christianity, is about being “PERFECT” all the time, here’s proof that it’s not.  In today’s Scripture, Jesus is wrong.  Dead wrong.  He bought into the prejudices of his own day and time, and unbelievably, calls a woman “a Dog.”

How many times have we called someone a hurtful name out of prejudice or fear?  As we once again remember the tragedy of “9/11” we also remember that Arab people and followers of the Muslim faith are some of the most hated and misunderstood people in America.  14 out of the 19 persons who participated in the atrocities of Sept. 11th were from Saudi Arabia (the nation from which we buy most of our imported oil).  But what nations received the brunt of our wrath?  Afghanistan and Iraq.  It is so easy to generalize and scapegoat those of whom we are afraid.  That’s what Jesus does in today’s scripture.

Want to know something even more shocking?  “Syrophoenicians” (sero-foe-knee-shins) were referred to as “gentiles” (i.e. non-Jews) but in fact they were an ancient Semitic Canaanite civilization.  You know the word “Canaan” because that’s the name of “The Promised Land” that Moses led the people of God to.  And you know the word “Semite” which means “Sons of Noah” or “of Jewish origin.”  Syropheoenicians were especially hated by the Jewish people because when the Jewish folk “moved into” Canaan, they intermarried with the Syropheoenicians, which was a “no, no!”  The Syropheoenicians didn’t follow Levitical purity laws and as time passed, they became more and more despised.  So when a Syropheoenician women comes to Jesus to heal her daughter, Jesus says to her, “You DOG, don’t bother me!”  Ouch!

But she was not about to give up.  She quoted an old parable to Jesus.  She said, “even the dogs under the table eat the crumbs the children drop.”  Jesus heard that and his heart was changed.  He healed her daughter as she requested and he healed the hatred which came from within his heart.

So often when I hear people quoting Jesus or speaking for God using language that puts down, defames, dehumanizes or marginalizes someone who is different, I think of this passage.  And when I do the same in my own life, I think of this passage of scripture and I am glad that Jesus was not perfect because that gives me hope that there is hope for me, too.

Jesus models for us that our faith is a life-long journey and process of growing in our understanding of who God is and how we are to live.

Grace and Peace to you in your journey!  Read on….

Blessings,

Dan

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