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Cruel Jesus

May 3, 2017

None could’ve been crueler! The poor ‘pagan/outsider’ woman came to Jesus, the high n mighty Jew, begging that he heal her daughter of the demon. He brutally cut her down with just these words: how can you a dog, ask for my children’s food? (Well slightly better, but quite the same for he spoke in a metaphor!). I wept as I read the woman’s reply: but Lord, even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the children’s table. Her desperation was palpable, her humility was endearing. Jesus yielded with an appreciation besides. Maybe he just wanted to rehearse, even register, that salvation is from the Jews (as he notes elsewhere), maybe even push the woman a bit to make her confess her faith, her humility. I still think there is some goodness in admitting to the way things just are: in this case for Jesus to have the right to pride himself in belonging to the custodians of truth (i.e. the Jews, belonging to the tradition of those who had sought God and had been entrusted with a message from God unlike others), and for the Syrophoenician woman to admit that she doesn’t have a problem with that. And then not really taking back his words, he healed the woman’s daughter lauding her response.

Do I have to defend Jesus otherwise? I won’t. Well, read the rest of the Bible and decide for yourself if he is indeed that bad.

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