Puzzled……6949.89 miles to go

     Well, yesterday afternoon (Saturday for me, I’m writing this on Sunday morning Iraq/Saturday Night United States) I did three miles on the treadmill in 28:40.  Really slow but not as slow as I thought it would be after two weeks of leave and then the way Mandy and I ate during my last week in Texas.  It’s a start I suppose.  I imagine more often than not my miles will come on the treadmill, as my base is fairly small and totally composed of sand and gravel.  That’s just a recipe for me laying in the road with a broken or twisted ankle.  Plus, I feel a bit more secure running inside when it comes time to decide where I want to be when the mortars/rockets hit.  Add my three miles with Maryeileen’s 4.11 and that takes us down to our current total of 6949.89 to go.  *Sigh*

     Saturday was fairly uneventful for me, but I did have one passage I wanted to speak on from Matthew 15.  It is the story of Christ and the Canaanite woman.  The woman comes to Jesus for help, but he ignores her.  She continues, the disciples tell Jesus to send her away, and He responds that He was sent for the lost sheep of Israel.  Still yet she continues and Jesus replies with the well known “It is not good to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”  The story ends up with Christ relenting after the woman comes back with the statement about “even the dogs eat the scraps from the master’s table.”  Her faith, according to Jesus, made it so for her.  My confusion lies in the way she was treated to begin with.  I am sure it is just my ignorance of historical conflicts, as I know very little other than the fact that Canaan and Israel were enemies.  Still though, I am perplexed to see this, as Christ’s salvation is a gift to all (in my beliefs) that is freely given.  Why then was the woman forced to plead for assistance?  Any insight into this would be greatly appreciated, as this is one of many things I have wondered about in the Bible for a long time. Sug, your thoughts?  (Sug is Rodspeak for Mandy, for those who are not in the know.)

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4 Responses to Puzzled……6949.89 miles to go

  1. Maryeileen says:

    Ok, so I may be speaking from the left side of my face about this (not having read this passage myself), however I felt drawn to comment on this passage anyway seeing that I have had a very “God coincedental” weekend.

    I woke this morning (our Sunday) to read your post Rod and it struck me in an odd sort of way. As afore mentioned I have not read this passage myself but it seemed to me a test of Humility….and not just on the part of the women but for Jesus’s Deciples as well.

    Yes, Christs/God’s love for us is “Free” but how well do we treat the items in our life that are given freely to us, (ie.) people on Welfare.

    What if Christ planned on giving this women help all along but felt a double “test” was in order.
    1. Did this women REALLY need Jesus’ help, would her continued humiliation keep her from her ultimate goal or was God’s Love enough for her to endure and be steadfast.
    2. Did Jesus’ Deciples really UNDERSTAND that HIS love was for ALL and that they were no better than she…. maybe a test in Humility was in order for them as well.

    Anyhow, I was meditating on this thought when I arrived in church this morning only to find out that our Scripture and Homily was all about “Humility”……….God coincidence.

    Let me know if you think I missed the mark on this one……..

    Love you Sweetheart!

  2. Mandy says:

    Ok…so I cheated (searched online) but I can shed some light on this particular story. Jesus and his disciples went to the VICINITY of the city of Tyre because Jesus was seeking rest for his disciples. He ignored the Canaanite woman because he did not want her to draw attention to him, which would have drawn a large crowd. When he said he came only for the lost sheep of Isreal he was saying that the Jews were to come before the Gentiles because they were the ones (the disciples) who were supposed to spread the Word of God when he was gone. This is further emphasized when he says the children (Jews) must be given the bread (the Bread of Life) before the dogs (a common name for Gentiles). But Jesus knew she wouldn’t go away at this comment and she didn’t. Instead, she worshipped him by saying even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall on the floor, which is what he wanted her to do.
    In the context of our culture and our language, it is easy to see this as contradictory to Jesus’ personality/mission but in the context of their culture and what was happening at the time (they wanted to rest) it is actually a really thoughtful encounter and lesson. Help any??

  3. Grandpa & Grandma Williams says:

    If my reading of the OT is correct:
    Noah had a son named Ham, who had a son named Canaan.
    Ham cursed Canaan and drove him away.
    Canaan had many descendants, formed a nation of his own people, and they settled into an area he named Canaan. As time passed, they became numerous and strong,
    and became almost enemies to the remaining families of Ham.

    Much later, GOD told Moses and the Hebrews to invade Canaan (the promised land), and to drive out and totally destroy the Canaanites, Hittities, Amorites, Guirgasites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. including the country of Canaan. (these seven nations were larger and stronger) SEE: Deuteronomy 7: 1-6.
    (I am led to believe the Hebrews (later Isralites) became quite prejudiced against all people not of their own nationality, and, I think this prejudice is continuing today)

    However, in the time of JESUS, the Canaanite nation as well as most of the other
    countries (nations) had been destroyed. Mark 7: 24-26 says she was a Greek.

    I hope this helps.. ‘Drenchpa’

  4. Rod says:

    That actually helps a ton, thanks!

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