Why I’m not afraid to argue with Jesus.

I get into trouble a bit for pushing the accepted meanings and interpretations of the Bible. People who do this are frequently called rebels and heretics. I don’t mind.

I know we as Christians have been taught never to argue with Scripture – it’s the final word – particularly the red-letter texts. They are apparently set in stone, and must never be challenged. Because of their apparent rigidity, the Biblical words of Jesus are often used to support the most un-Christian acts. And I have a problem with this.

I do get my back up with Jesus from time to time. If you take Him at his word (word not with a capital W) He can be inconsistent. His recorded words sometimes contradict the urging of the Holy Spirit in the heart – the Holy Spirit He facilitated so we could know how to bring about His love on the earth.

It’s very confronting to find your gut and your soul challenges the *truth* of the Bible.

But I’m not the first to pull Jesus up on His inconsistencies.

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

Someone challenges Jesus on the discrepancy between the Scripture – the Law – and his message of inclusion and love. And Jesus pays attention to her complaints. He calls her contention “great faith” and she returns home to find her daughter is healed.

Not just great faith, great courage.

Jesus basically insults this woman and everything she is and stands for, providing justification from scripture for why she doesn’t deserve His help. And she pulls Him up on that. And He agrees with her.

And Jesus changes His mind. In favour of love, and not Law.

Jesus. Changes. His mind. Jesus, the God-person Jesus.

Don’t be afraid to petition the Christ of your Christianity when it seems His spirit at work in your heart is at odds with the words of the Law and the scriptures. He came to break the hold of the Law over us, remember?

We live in the age of grace, and this means the Spirit reigns over the Law. Jesus changes His mind, so don’t be afraid to ask Him for His attention. When you butt up against the rigid boundaries of the Law, push a little. He welcomes your petition – it’s helping Him complete the work of breaking the power of the Law. And after all, this is what He came to do.

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