Jesus said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” — Mark 7:27
She seems noble, while Jesus’ behavior seems incomprehensible. How could he be so cruel to the Syro-Phoenician woman, a desperate mother trying to save her ill daughter?
We get a rare glimpse of Jesus, not in his glory, but in his humanity: small, ethnocentric, and thoughtless. In his culture, this person was an outsider, a woman, and unclean from having worked with her ill daughter—a triple whammy. Then a funny thing happens; Jesus changes and stretches. The woman convinces Jesus to enter her world and breaks down the barriers.
What wonderful things can happen when we dare to break down the barriers that separate us from others. Jesus shows us by example.
Prayer: Lord, encourage us to confront our prejudices. Help us stretch. Teach us to listen to the voices of those in need, and respond to their hunger instead of our differences. Amen.
Deaconess Anne Paine, Avon Lake, OH