Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost – 20th August 2017

Is there a more confusing situation than the one between Jesus and the Canaanite woman whose daughter was in need of healing? There are so many parts to the story.

First we have Jesus’ confession that he was sent only to the ‘lost sheep of the house of IsraeI’. Then we have the seeming lack of compassion shown, first the disciples and then by Jesus. This followed by the interaction between Jesus and the woman, an act totally unbecoming of a Rabbi and finally the woman’s ability to get the upper hand over Jesus and the regard of her faith in the healing of the child

It would be easy to retreat into matters of Matthew’s community coming to terms with gentiles, but it may be more. It is easy to forget the humanity of Jesus, to underscore this tiredness with the crowds and the noise and the demands. Did Jesus learn something about the ways of God that day? Perhaps, but the point is clear. Faith matters.

In the hands of God faith can do amazing things.