Our scripture this week is 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 demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” 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 the dogs.” “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
I have often had difficulty with this passage because at first glance it sounds as if Jesus might ignore this woman. That is so out of character for our Lord. We hear the disciples ask Him to send her away because she was a nuisance.
Do we dismiss people in need because they bother us or because they are different? The disciples didn’t understand why Jesus had come to this foreign region in the first place, but He never did anything accidentally or haphazardly. There was a definite reason Jesus brought them to this area.
The Lord wanted them (and us) to see the similarities, not the differences in people. It is hard to to do that from a distance and He intended that they experience it personally. If we are to bring the Good News to the world, we must first know our brothers and sisters and then reach out in love.
Gracious God, we are all blessed with the gifts we need to care for Your creation. Help us to see where the world is hurting and go to be part of the healing. Amen.