I heard this reading at church on Sunday. It blessed me so much.
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
A Canaanite woman ( not a Jew ) from that vicinity came to him and started shouting, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly ( grievously vexed with a demon KJV ).”
Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and pleaded with him, “Give her what she wants because she is shouting after us.”
He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.( the Jews )”
The woman came and knelt before him and worshipped him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s ( the Jews ) bread and toss it to the dogs.”
“Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment. (Matthew 15:21-28 NIV)
This reading greatly impacted me that day.
I have heard this story before, but I never realised the woman was shouting at Jesus.
So loudly in fact that the disciples wanted her to go away.
In Jewish Culture it was not proper for a woman to shout in public.
Women were to be quiet.
In many nations woman is the man’s property.
With the children she cooks, cleans, gets firewood, farms, and keeps quiet.
This woman was a Cananite. This tribe did not mix with Jews. They lived separately from the Jews.
She must have heard about the miracles of deliverance and healing Jesus performed.
She was in distress about her daughter.
She was desperate. She cried out to Jesus for help.
Jesus ignored her.
His friends wanted him to do something to get rid of her.
She bowed before Jesus and asked him again.
She humbled herself. She did not give up even when Jesus likened her to a dog.
She was not hurt or angry but asked again for her daughter’s healing.
Jesus finally helped her.
I laughed to myself.
Would you call out in Church and interrupt the Pastor.
I interrupted a Baptist Pastor speaking at his Church.
I was distressed about my situation.
I was escorted outside.
It was not culturally acceptable for a woman to speak up in Church.
Sometimes one is so desperate that God doesn’t mind if one shouts at him.
Respectability stops us being real.