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Source: (consider it) Thread: Connections
# 16378

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There are several things in this coming week's lesson I would like to explore more.

The most obvious connection to look at is how the confession of faith of the gentile woman is different than the blindness of the Pharisees. The Pharisees preconceived understandings keep getting in the way of realizing who Jesus is.

Yet the Gentile woman recognizes Jesus as the Son of David and immediately knows he can save her daughter.

Less obvious connections:

Jesus enters Gentile territory. He should have expected to be approached by a Gentile. Surprising it is a woman.

When the woman approaches Jesus she kneels before him. Matthew uses this action as one befitting a king. The magi, who are also Gentiles, are the first to offer worship to Jesus in this way (Matthew 2:2, 8, 11). The unrepentant slave bows before the king in the parable of unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:), and the mother of James and John kneel before Jesus as a king of a kingdom (Matthew 20:20).

Kneeling is not only a sign of kingship, but also recognition of power. There is a connection between those who kneel before Jesus and the healings that Jesus performs. A leper kneels before Jesus and asks to be made clean (Matt 8:2). A ruler kneels and asks for his daughter’s healing (9:18). At the end of this Gospel, when the resurrected Lord appears, the disciples bow before him, and Jesus says that all authority in heaven and earth is his (28:17-18). Bowing in worship also recalls Jesus’ command to worship only the Lord God (4:9). This woman kneels before one whom she recognizes as having authority not only to sit on the throne of David, but to wield power over evil.

Another connection that can be explored: the Canaanite woman’s “great faith” (15:28) follows Peter’s apparent “little faith” (14:31). Of course, everybody wants more faith, right? “More” is certainly better than some, or average, or little. A central question posed by this passage is, “What made her faith great?” which elicits a follow up question, “How can my faith be greater?” or something along those lines.

So many connections, so little time.

Posts: 2193 | From: Pullman WA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged

Lakefront liberal
# 3659

 - Posted      Profile for Mamacita   Email Mamacita   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Just a clarification that in the RCL, the first part of the linked passage (Matthew 15:10-20) is bracketed and so many churches won't be using that section. The focus will probably be on vv 21-28, the story of the Canaanite woman. The Roman Catholic reading I believe is just vv 21-28 also.

Now to the passage at hand:


Jesus enters Gentile territory. He should have expected to be approached by a Gentile.

Why? I'd think it equally likely they'd ignore him. Yes, it is surprising that the one who approaches him is a woman.

When the woman approaches Jesus she kneels before him. Matthew uses this action as one befitting a king. <snip>
Not quite. She starts out by shouting at him (clearly the woman is beside herself, and who can blame her?). She only kneels before him after he ignores her and the disciples urge Jesus to send her away, which he seems pretty willing to do. It seems to me she is kneeling because she is pleading with him. She believes this man can heal her daughter and she is desperate. I think it's as simple as that.

[ 12. August 2014, 00:39: Message edited by: Mamacita ]

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

Posts: 20761 | From: where the purple line ends | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged

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