Jesus Learns a Lesson from a Gentile Woman

This meditation is based on a passage for June 7, 2010 in the Daily Lectionary Year 2 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: Matthew 15:21-28

Reflection and Question: In Mark 7:24-30 Jesus engages in this same conversation with a Syrophoenician woman, a Greek; in Matthew the woman is Canaanite, also not a Jew. In both passages Jesus hesitates to heal her daughter. Jesus even insults her by suggesting that helping her would be like throwing bread to the dogs. She cleverly turns the image to her advantage, indicating she is willing, like the dogs, to receive the scraps from the master’s table. Jesus heals her child and continues from this point to include more than Jews in His message. He learned. What do you learn from this text?

Prayer: Dearest Jesus, You are so humble and intimidating in this encounter with the Canaanite woman. You talk with a stranger, learn from her and grant her request for her daughter. May we have her courage and faith when we meet You, too. Amen.