Monday, June 01, 2015

Bible Character Part 1: The Canaan woman - Jesus's Pet Dog

As an atheist, when I first read Matthew 15:22-27, I just smiled saying. "What an Egoistic, proud fellow!" and I wondered why believers kept saying he is gentle and loving?

Reading the same scripture later, disturbed me. I could see the love and concern behind the lines yet the depths of understanding the situation evaded me until yesterday.

Today, the same scripture, that disturbed me, gives me great joy and confidence and makes me applaud the Cannan women. I am not here to talk about Jesus but this character, the Cannan women from the Bible. For those of you who do not know what I am taking about, below is the scripture and its explanation.

Matthew 15:22-27 King James Version (KJV)

22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
Explanation: As the Cannan women saw Jesus, she acknowledged him and cried out to him for help. To cure her daughter. 

23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
Explanation: But Jesus simply ignored her. His disciples asked Jesus to shoo her away for she was causing a nuisance.  

24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Explanation: Jesus tells the women that He has other priorities and she isn't one of them. 

25 Then came she and worshiped him, saying, Lord, help me.
Explanation: To this she worshiped him and continued seeking his help. 

26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.
Explanation: Jesus (seems to) insults her, reminding her of her place by addressing her as a dog and tells her there are other people who need his help. 

27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
Explanation: And she acknowledges her place and tell Jesus that even the dog has teh right to eat what falls from their master's table. 

The Cannan women to me represents great courage and confidence in knowing the relation she shares with the Almighty God. Her humility, persistence, and her faith in who Jesus was, created an awareness of who she was in Him. When Jesus called her a "dog", instead of getting offended she rejoiced for she knew she was not a stray but His own pet dog who (like a dog with unconditional love) bought joy to the master. And with that relationship, she knew she could enjoy sitting at the master's feet at meal time and gulp every crumb that fell from Her master's table.

The women knew who Jesus was. "Son of David". She acknowledged him for who he was. She cried to him not bothering about the nuisance she created. The disciples discouraged her presence but she did not care. How many times are we discouraged to worship in pretense of being ridiculed? How many of us worship in secrecy or are ashamed to confess our make believe faith? Not this women. She knew who she worshiped and wasn't ashamed of her behavior. It seemed like Jesus did not hear her but she remained persistent. She continued crying our to Him, till she got a response. How many times do we feel that God is ignoring us or, does not hear our cry? How many times do people around us mock our cry to God? Why? There are times when even the elders of the Church ask us to give up. And how easily are we moved by the people and circumstances around us? How many times do we question God for remaining silent to out cry? How many times do we give up way too sooner? Unlike us, this women was not moved by the conditions around her. She remained persistent till she could get a response. When Jesus himself told her, he had other things to look after, she worshiped him. She needed a response and she got one. She did not bother if the response was good or bad, as long as she got a response from Him. On being told her cry needs to wait, she never questioned him why? She understood the fact that she is not the only one who needs Him. Even at her hour of need, she was considerate of other people's need. How many of us can really pray or care for others when we are absorbed in our own worries? At times of need, we can see only our problems. We question as to why someone wicked gets all the undeserved grace while we are left with none. We wonder why the shower of blessing falls on the entire earth but the only ground that you are left standing remains dry? But not this women. She did not care where it was raining blessings. More than the blessing, she sought the blesser. Often we think that those who do not fear God are better off. They can do whatever they want to and still have grace shine on them. But, here is a question to ponder. Do we love Him for his grace to shine on us or, do we love him for that is the best we can do? Her faith built on her foundation of love for the Son, put her right in the sight of God. Have you ever wondered, how you never get offended by anything said or done by someone you really love? This women loved Jesus. She never got offended by what He said. Her love kept her humble and confident of who she was in this relation. How many of us today are confident of who we are in Him?

I hope this Bible character helps you figure who you are in Christ and helps you when you feel God has shut his ears on you.

Psalm 30:5
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.


2 comments:

  1. Loved the thought provoking questions. A good perspective of one of the most common passages in the Bible. Looking forward for more :)
    God Bless.

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