He was traveling through a region with a history of opposition to his people. She was a native who needed help and didn’t know where else to turn.
Jesus met this woman in the predominantly pagan region of Tyre. Her daughter was demon possessed, so she didn’t mind approaching a miracle working Jew for help. Jesus’ answer to her request-“First I should help my own family, the Jews (Mark 7:27),” seems unloving, but it was a faith test. Her answer-“But even the dogs under the table are given some crumbs (v. 28),” revealed her trust and resulted in her daughter’s healing. Even though she was a “them,” Jesus accepted her.
Jesus’ disciples did battle with the “but they’re not like us” syndrome. Master, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he isn’t in our group (Luke 9:49 NLT).
Jesus’ caution to his disciples (Luke 9:50) reminds me of the battle I must wage against stereotyping, prejudice, and “but they’re not like us” mindsets. Attitudes that have been prevalent in many countries throughout history.
Presently (2013) in the United States, we’re waging the war with immigration reform. The polar extremes are “Let’s round them all up and send them back where they came from,” and “Let’s grant amnesty to all of them.”
While laws must be obeyed and policies established, I think Jesus would say love and accept them-whoever the “them” not like us happens to be. Having a “but they’re not like us” mentality doesn’t square with the Bible’s message. Jesus loves all people unconditionally, and I must too. They are his creations who are worthy of his love and for whom he has a unique plan.
Let God change your attitude about the “them” you’re having trouble accepting.
Prayer: Remind us loving Father that all people are created in Your image and are worthy of our respect and love.
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