We don’t know for sure that Jesus knew everything while he was in a body walking around. I just want to make that clear.
But we can guess that he did.
John tells us “Jesus would not entrust himself to [the people watching his miracles], for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.”
And when teachers were grumbling about what he was saying, he apparently knew what they were thinking without being able to hear them.
I mention that kind of insight because it helps as we think about the woman in Tyre (see yesterday’s post).
She asked Jesus to heal her daughter.
“First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
It feels wrong. It feels rude. It feels unChristlike.
Unless, perhaps, Jesus is aware that people are paying attention and Jesus is aware that this woman is remarkable.
His answer would have been culturally appropriate, at least from the perspective of his disciples. But talking to the woman would not have been. So already, by entering into conversation, by acknowledging her existence, he’s breaking barriers.
“Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
Isn’t that awesome? I mean really. Her insight, her wordplay, her tenacity.
And if Jesus knew her, knew what was in her, knew all about that insight and wordplay and tenacity, had been part of creating that insight and wordplay and tenacity, he was setting her up for that answer.
What feels rude to us, could be actually deep respect.
And after she answers, Jesus heals her daughter.
And we have a long conversation between Jesus and an outsider woman where she is valued and listened to.