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A learning moment…for Jesus?

This Sunday, the 20th in Ordinary Time for Year A, has a fascinating reading from Matthew’s Gospel which brings together two key elements in the early Church’s collection of Jesus’ sayings and deeds: his teaching about the true nature of spiritual defilement and the story of his encounter with a woman of faith from outside Israel’s sacred space. By placing these side by side, Matthew seems to be supporting a view that this encounter was a genuine learning moment for Jesus, in which the woman’s extraordinary faith in God and persistence in the face of his own culturally conditioned resistance to her demands stimulated him to a whole new extension of his own teaching and missional practice. From this point, people of faith outside Israel became targets of his mission as never before…. so we all have this woman to thank for being Christians!
Is all that too radical for you to consider? You can listen to my comments here…, then let me know what you think!
Howard Pilgrim

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