Tuesday, August 16, 2011

9th Sunday after Pentecost -- Table Manners

Jesus encounters a Canaanite woman who won't take "No!" for an answer.  Jesus ignores and insults.  He abuses theology.  Jesus' behavior is difficult to stomach here.  But his behavior is, seemingly, for the benefit of his disciples who simply want him to send her away.  Yet the woman is persistent, enlarging the picture of Jesus' mission for his disciples.

An excerpt:
When Jesus sends us away, he sends us away from the realm of sin and death.  Too often our choice is to keep people there.  We ignore or insult or abuse scripture to keep from extending the grace shown to us by Jesus.  Grace is not a commodity that will run out.  It flows out of Jesus’ identity as the messiah, the one who comes to humanity to set us free.  He becomes sin so that we might become righteousness.
Read the whole sermon here.  

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Jonathan Neiderhiser said...

Great sermon! My Mom served as lay preacher at her church last week while we were visiting, and had to tackle the "mean Jesus" passage as well. She pointed out that the story of the Canaanite woman immediately follows Jesus teaching the disciples that nothing from outside can make one unclean, and when he asks them if they understand, they reply "yes." Then, here they are a verse later being annoyed by this "unclean" woman who they would rather get rid of -- "send her away!"

Brian Bennett said...

Thanks Jonathan... the "mean Jesus"... Love it! certainly not to be confused with Buddy Jesus.