Is the Church the "dog in the manger"
Jesus Heals the Gentile Woman’s Daughter
Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”
But He answered her not a word.
And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”
But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
Today John Darch was visiting and he shared with us the latest book he had been reading “Savage continent” by Keith Lowe - here is a link to a summary of the book ( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/bookreviews/9200649/Savage-Continent-Europe-in-the-Aftermath-of-World-War-Two-by-Keith-Lowe-review.html )
It tells of how after world war two had finished there wasn’t celebrations everywhere as some places echoed the behaviour and the discrimination of the Nazi regime.
Today we hear the news of fighting in Iraq, and Sierra and the rest of the world -Christians, Yazidi’s and other Muslims being slaughtered. We can’t blame the Muslims for the troubles as they have been going on for many years. We also hear of troubles in Missouri were people feel there is discrimination from the shooting of a teenager. The troubles feel endless but the Christian church through the years has been just as bad; just read about the crusades, and the spanish inquisition and even the church of England in the past has been violent and discriminatory.
This is humanities fallenness but God’s answer to this fallenness is Jesus as our Saviour. There are many ways that we can discriminate in our behaviour;
The apostle Paul talks about how we are all equal in the site of God.
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
The Church of England has been slow to move with getting rid of discrimination, only recently voting for women bishops. Still there is still discrimination over sexuality.
Is todays church the “Dog in the Manger”?
In the Gospel reading Jesus appears to discriminate against the Gentile women, but was this the case? The Old Testament tells of all the rules and respect that the jewish nation had to show to the non jews in the surrounding lands. Even though the Jewish nation failed many times in following these Old covenant rules.
Jesus’ three year mission was to deliver the good news and try to save the Jewish people but when he was challenged that even the dogs will eat the crumbs, he perhaps changed his mind and saw that the human need came first.
The church needs to stop being the “dog in the manger” and affirm the need for diversity and love of all in God’s creation.
There is more than one way of being Christian
There is more than one way of being human