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Summary: A look at Jesus interaction with a Canaanite woman whom He refers to as a dog. Why would Jesus talk to someone like this? How hurt must the woman have been by this; and what are we to learn from her?

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Dakota Community Church

February 22, 2009 am

Dawgs - Like Me

Matthew 15:21-28

Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."

Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."

He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."

The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.

He replied, "It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs."

"Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table."

Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Now this is one of those occurrences in the life of Jesus that for me is somewhat offensive.

I don’t like this exchange.

To my western eyes Jesus appears to be rude to this woman, in fact if I didn’t know better I would be tempted to say that treating another human being in this fashion is sinful… yet Jesus is without sin.

I want to edit this passage out of the Bible and yet I know that the Holy Spirit would not have included it if it were not important, true, and right.

Jesus is God and everything He does or says is holy, and perfect, and righteous, and good.

In the end Jesus says that this is an example of GREAT FAITH.

How is this great faith? How are we as those who want to be people of great faith to read and apply this passage to our lives?

1. This “dawg” accepts Jesus’ exclusionary mission.

Matthew 15:23-25

Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."

He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."

The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.

This Canaanite woman does what so many today seem unable or unwilling to do.

She accepts God as He is.

“I know you didn’t come for me, I’m not asking you to take anything from the children, but what about the crumbs, what about what they are not eating, the left-over’s… is there anything for me there?

How do you respond to God when He doesn’t live up to your expectations?

She does not try to re-imagine Him as she wants Him to be. She does not insist on inclusiveness, she does not seek out a new kind of Jesus. She accepts Him as God, as He reveals Himself to her and simply bows before Him.

Think about what would happen if this were to happen today.

“How dare He not respond to my need?”

“Who does He think He is refusing ministry to someone based on nationality?”

Call the lobbyists we have a hate crime on our hands.

Are you offended by the exclusive truth claims of Jesus?

Do you feel a need to do something other than bow before Him and them?

John 14:1-7

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."


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