Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
For those of you who would like to support the vision & ministry of Woodland Hills Community Church (the faith community I serve that continues to encourage me to minister outside the box), please click on the link just above.

Thursday, July 30

Today’s Readings: Psalm 76; 2 Samuel 10:1-19; Mark 7:20-30; Acts 23:1-5; Psalm 91

Today’s Gospel reading contains my favorite story about Jesus. That story tells of the encounter between Jesus and the Syro-Phoenician woman. At first glance, most folks wouldn’t think much of the story. It would simply appear to be one of many healing stories peppered throughout the Gospels. If you look deeper, however, the story raises a key question about the nature of Jesus. That key question is raised in verse 27 – the verse where Jesus responds to the Syro-Phoenician woman’s request for healing for her daughter. And how did Jesus initially respond to that request for healing? He refused the request. And not only did Jesus refuse her request, he did so by implying that she was a second class person: a “dog” that would only get what was left over after the preferred children ate. Most scholars who have dealt with the passage suggest that one of two things is going on in the text. The scholars who are more traditional or orthodox suggest that Jesus was simply testing the woman to give her the opportunity to prove her faith. I’m not in this camp. Other scholars suggest that the encounter between Jesus and the woman revealed a bias or prejudice that Jesus had. Many of these scholars go one step further and say the woman’s response exposed Jesus’ bias (even to himself); this exposure then caused Jesus to overcome his bias and grant her request for healing. Many traditional folks would consider such an interpretation shocking as they are uncomfortable with the notion that Jesus would have any such biases. I’m not uncomfortable with such a reading, however. In fact, such a reading shows me that Jesus was always willing to examine himself and open himself to the possibility of seeing things in new ways. It challenges me to do my work as well. As fellow followers of Jesus, I would encourage you to take time today and explore your own attitudes to see if there are blind spots that exist in your own life that you need to address – blind spots that would limit the fullness of God’s grace. If you find one/some, then next step would be to do what Jesus did: move beyond them. Til next time…

1 comment:

Woodland Hills said...

Self reflection and examining one's behavior/belief/attitude/action is always an ongoing "struggle". Just when you feel you have reached a point where these at odds part of us have been extinguished they poke their little heads up as a reminder that it is a continual journey and evolution.
Thank you for a gentle nudge to never become complacent and turn off the auto-pilot again!