Week 4 - Interruptions

Week 4 - Interruptions

 

 

INTERRUPTIONS in the COVID PANDEMIC Session 4 : Mark 7:24-30:

Jesus is Interrupted by a Foreign Woman

24 From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre.* He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, 25but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. 26Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27He said to her, ‘Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.’ 28But she answered him, ‘Sir,* even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’ 29Then he said to her, ‘For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.’ 30So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

 

QUESTIONS after reading the Bible passage

I wonder what Jesus was doing so far from home ? 
How do you feel about the way Jesus responded the woman who asked for help ? 
If you had been the woman how would you have felt about his response? 
What difference did the encounter make to : the woman, to Jesus, onlookers? 

 

BACKGROUND to story

Jesus went on a sort of retreat, getting away from it all.  A Woman comes with her need of a sick daughter.  Jesus says she is not his concern right now.  JESUS IS BEING INTERRUPTED just when he needed quiet ! 
She is ultimate outsider to Jesus: Woman, Gentile : one of the ‘dogs’ Commentators try to 
‘white-wash’ this BUT Jesus uses a term of racial abuse ( what would his mother have said ? ) How do we feel about this ? 
Woman uses a clever twist : the dogs do get fed, scavenging crumbs from under the table. Commentators try to side step this too BUT Jesus changes his mind.

How do we feel about a Jesus who changes his mind ? 
After his encounter he turns around 180 degrees and goes back to Galilee

Crumbs of bread In Mark 6 : 30-44 Jesus uses bread to feed 5000 people 12 baskets for left overs plus Jewish tern for basket, 12 = Tribes of Israel 
In Mark 8 : 1-10 Jesus uses bread to feed 4000 people 7 baskets left over and foreign word for basket 7 = number of completeness : of all creation 

Jesus goes from feeding a crowd of Jews to feeding a crowd of foreigners.  After his ministry enlarging encounter with the woman Jesus does a ‘turning around’. 
In this encounter Jesus holds power and privilege.  For him to accept the interruption is radical, counter cultural and transformative.  Woman by interrupting / challenging Jesus she refuses to accept the pattern of power and privilege.  For the change BOTH Jesus and the woman have to refuse to accept their and the other’s normal social roles. 
More than just Inclusion ( those with power allow those without to come and join them ) the woman offers an alternative vision. 
In what ways have we been shaped ( consciously and unconsciously ) to resist challenges of others? 
How do we respond to criticism ( what tactics consciously and unconsciously ) ?
How might we need to change – personally ? and in our church ? so that we may be more open to being challenged ? 

 

WHAT DOES THIS STORY TO SAY ABOUT THE PANDEMIC TIME 

Who have we brought to Jesus in our prayers during the pandemic ?  If we were more far reaching in this how might our world view be altered ?