The Canaanite Woman: the reply

CannaniteHeadlinesHow are we to Understand Jesus’ Response? The disciples’ request, Send her away for she keeps calling out after us need not be understood as disapproval of her request, but simply a desire for peace and quiet (cf. 19:13?). In fact, if Jesus would just grant the petition, they all can rest. Many scholars hold this content makes Jesus’ emphatic objection (v.24) more cogent. But rather than take the path of least resistance, there is a principle to be highlighted. The principle is the same as that of 10:5–6, of a mission  restricted to Israel (during Jesus’ earthly ministry): “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The statement here is Jesus’ explanation to the disciples of his unexpectedly unwelcoming response to a woman in need; she herself need not have heard it, as it is only in v.25 that she approaches Jesus closely. Continue reading