The Authentic Jesus was Not Always a Sweetheart

Not everything attributed to Jesus in the gospels is enlightened, or uplifting.  He acts as a person of his place and culture.  This shows in his encounter with the Syrophoenician woman (Mark 7:24-30, if you are not familiar with it.)  As a matter of fact, some stories can be downright ugly.  He makes a remark easily heard as racist.  It is important that we don’t take a story like this, where he calls a woman a “dog” as a lesson of a way to act – but rather a way to experience a moment of connection which redeems our relationships.  Whatever you believe about his blessedness, Jesus was a human being, and not immune to the prejudices of his time

One of the great gifts of his life is to show us how to live with our troublesome humanity and reach for the redemption that is in the inclusive love of God.  He realized he was wrong in his attitude toward the woman who had begged for his help.  Even Jesus had to have his own moment of recognition that all are to be fed at the table of grace, and it is up to all of us – not just the few – to do that, first by recognizing our own deep errors, and then looking for ways to open our hearts and minds, to break bread together, to break through, and touch the pain of the ones we have called “other.”

Peace and grace to you in all things,

Pastor Carol

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