But seriously, no one thinks Abraham wheedled that out of the Lord, no matter how the dialogue reads on the face of it, do they? it is really just a memorable depiction of the Father's boundless mercy, that he is willing to spare the sinful people if there is the merest shred of decency left in the city. (And there ain't.)
But what about calling the persistent Canaanite woman... well, a bitch, to her face?
(I meant to write on this a while ago, and found myself deep in the woods, and forgot about it and just remembered it.)
I've heard absurd sermons about Jesus being unspeakably rude, and the woman schooling Him; and slightly less so but still huh?-worthy homilies that by seeming to refuse, teaching that foreign gal both humility and stick-to-itiveness in prayer, (and wouldn't such verisimilitude on His part be, uh... lying?)
But how about this?
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But He did not say a word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children* and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that hour.
Matthew 15That phrase, "He said in reply" -- to whom is He replying?
The Evangleist has already stated that He said not a word in answer to her -so it must be His DISCIPLES to whom He speaks.
It is nothing less than blasphemy to think that He didn't know what His ministry was, to whom His ministry was, of course He knew -- He is speaking to His disciples, His Jewish disciples, He is acknowledging to them that, yeah, He is there for the "lost sheep of Israel," (as they already believe) -- but then, shockingly, He demonstrates quite clearly that SHE is among these "lost sheep of Israel," that from now on we are ALL of us members of the chosen race, the royal priesthood, the people set apart.
"It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs."
Okay, it is not right, it would not be right -- does He dissemble when he says this? or is He speaking the truth but then goes and does WHAT IS NOT RIGHT by granting her prayer?
Who dares suggest so?
He is acknowledging, very publicly that she is indeed a daughter of God, that she is, that we all are, the Father's beloved children.