The Faith of a Woman

Today’s Gospel reading was about the faith of a Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28.  It has a parallel story in Mark 7:21 following about the faith of a Syrophoenician woman.

Some observations:

  1. Both women were mothers.
  2. Both women had sick daughters.
  3. Both women were asking for help to Jesus to heal their daughters.
  4. Both women were considered pagans  for they did not belong to the household of Israel.
  5. Both women were  regarded nuisance  by the disciples (in Matthew) as she kept crying  for help from the Lord and who came begging Jesus (in Mark) to heal her daughter when he did not want people knew that he was around.
  6. Both women were not welcome to Jesus as he refused them saying: “It is not right to take  the bread from the children and throw it to the little dogs” in Matthew.  In Mark, Jesus said, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs”. 
  7. Both women responded to Jesus that even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table
  8. Both women did not give up the cold treatment and unfriendly/unwelcoming words of Jesus
  9. Because of their faith, both women received God’s favor and their daughters were healed by Jesus.

Jesus declared to both women that their faith was so great and because of that their wishes were granted.  Courageous women, brave mothers who did not think of shame for themselves despite of cold treatment and arrogant words from the disciples; women of faith who did not think of themselves first but for the welfare of their daughters: to be healed from their sickness.   They, who sacrificed to walk miles following Jesus and breaking into the circle of Jesus bodyguards, the disciples who did not think that these women were liken to their mothers.

At a glance, the arrogance/discriminating attitudes of the disciples and the cold /unwelcoming gestures and words of Jesus could be enough to drive away these women/mothers.  However, they stood up and straightforwardly replied to Jesus even they were considered dogs, outcasts, pagans who were not included in the promised salvation of God because they were not part of the household of Israel, the recipients of Gods promise.  They strongly believe that Jesus was the only one that can heal their daughters.  That was why they did not leave and returned home until Jesus has assured them that by their faith their daughters were already healed  at home.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. womanclergy
    Aug 14, 2011 @ 16:40:42

    This Gospel readings had been interpreted in many ways depending the view of the readers

    Reply

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