Pentecost 12, 2023

Are you ready to have your world turned upside down? Of course not. Who is? But you might want to brace yourself this week. Jesus is flipping the tables and chasing out another sort of money changer this week. The object of his attention in Matthew 15 are not the Jewish merchants who turned His Father’s house into a den of thieves, but the disciples who engage in another sort of economy which is utterly alien to Christ’s kingdom. He is not done doing this. He shattered the foundations of His disciples’ world long ago and He is doing it to you today.

This week we have a strange and disturbing reading in which Jesus seems to call a woman a dog. Doesn’t He realize this could get you cancelled in today’s culture? Indeed, some are arguing that Jesus and His followers should be cancelled. Our first impulse should be to go in to the context which surrounds this reading. Follow that impulse and look. When you do, things will not get less strange. They may become more strange. Jesus ensnares his own disciples, exposing their religious economy in which people have relative values based on their relationship to the Torah of Moses. He will say of this Canaanite woman that her faith is great. Remember this past weekend when He told Peter that his faith was small and weak? Is He saying that to you?

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