Going through the Gospel of Matthew in a bible study last week. People take notes and ask me questions about what they’ve read. One 35 year old mother of 4, who’s been in church her entire life, comes across Matthew 15 when a gentile woman asks Jesus to heal her child. Jesus responds, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
35 year old woman responds:
Her: Did Jesus…did he… just call that woman a dog?
Ah crap. Now how am I going to handle this one? I don’t really feel like pulling the “oh, he was just testing her” bs, so I decide to do a slightly more honest route.
Me: Well…yes, but he wasn’t being sexist as you would think. It was actually more racist.
Her reaction was about what you’d expect:
Me: But later this goes on to prove one of Jesus’ most important points; that God loves people from every race. This is exactly how the Jews of the day thought of Canaanites, as dogs. However Jesus opens the realm of possibility that says all people are equal regardless of race or gender. Jesus listens to her and is impressed by her, something the disciples will remember. Who we consider a “female dog”, God sees as valuable.
Her:Still is kinda a mean way to do it though. That’s just rude!
Me: I agree, very rude. But the rudeness makes it memorable and drives the point home. Look, we’re still talking about aren’t we? I think Jesus succeeded, and after all is said and done, the daughter was healed.
I’m still a little bit in shock that someone could spend their ENTIRE LIFE in church and never hear that story. For me it really drives home the point that your average Christian virtually never reads their Bible for themselves. How is this possible? Why would you belong to a religion your whole life and not actually read the foundational document that defines what you believe in? How can you claim the Bible is sooo important, and yet never take the time to read it?