Tuesday, April 7, 2009

How Liberation Theology Would Interpret Matthew 15:21-31

God calls for humanity to live together in peace, love, respect, and justice. There is a story in the New Testament where Jesus is trying to take a break from his ministry and Gentile woman asks for his help. Since he was a Jew and came to save the Jews, he was resistant to help her. He isn’t living up to those expectations. He is refusing to help someone because she had a different religious background. Let’s see what ends up happening in the story. Open your Bibles to Matthew 15:21-31 (NRSV).

What does Jesus end up doing? He helps the Gentile woman.

We see Jesus say he was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and that he won’t take away the children’s food and give it to the dogs. Here he is speaking in a metaphor. He is saying that he won’t be taking away from the Jews just to help the Gentiles.

What does she say? That even the dogs get the crumbs left under the table.
Correct. She says, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” She is so clever! She teaches Jesus a lesson in this story. All people are God’s creation and all should have the opportunity to be in the presence of the love of God. Jesus learns this lesson from her clever words. No one is better than anyone else is God’s eyes. We will all be freed from oppression.

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