Matthew 15:21-28 is an example of Scripture that is difficult to understand, until we put the verses in context with other passages. It works on multiple levels to reveal the love of God for all of us. It can be a little too easy to paint this as a story of a woman’s persistence, and miss the deeper lesson that Jesus gave the disciples.
The Limits of Tyre by Vasily Polenov, 1911
Today’s Lenten devotional by N.T. Wright (Week 3, Wednesday), focusing on Matthew 15:21-28, describes one of those passages in Scripture that is difficult to grasp in isolation. What’s really going on here? What does the text tell us about the values of Jesus Christ? Why didn’t He just heal the Canaanite woman when she asked? Is Jesus calling this woman a ‘dog’? Did this woman talk Jesus into changing His mind?
Thankfully we have a parallel text in Mark 7:24-29, and a clue about what life was like at this point in Jesus’ ministry in Luke 6:17-19, so let’s put them all together.
And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and…
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What do you think?