Sunday Message Recap
August 29, 2021
“A Little Bit of Chutzpah Doesn’t Hurt”
…The [Gentile] woman continuously begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He 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.” But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs….”
Chutzpah is a Yiddish word that means extreme self-confidence, audacity, or being brash. There are two ways you can use chutzpah: for good or bad. The outsider woman in today’s story exemplifies the positive aspect of chutzpah: she does not let her discomfort or possibly shame keep her from doing what is right for her daughter. But Jesus is in a cranky mood. He has gone as far away from his usual stomping grounds as he can so he can get some peace. His words to her are not necessarily racial or ethnic oriented. If his mission was to the Jewish people first, then she, being a gentile, would, in essence, just have to wait, just like a dog has to wait to be fed. But she begs audaciously for all the right reasons at Jesus’s table who answers him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Oh, snap! She has just the right zinger for his cranky response. And for responding so boldly to him, for all the right reasons, he heals her daughter. Not because of her faith, but because of her boldness. She has faith, she wouldn’t have come there begging if she didn’t believe he could help her daughter. But it is her chutzpah for all the right reasons that gets him to change his mind. When we are bold for others, for all the right reasons, we can change minds and hearts. I wonder for what might the church be bold in these coming years? For what might we as individual disciples be bold? If an outsider woman can change cranky Jesus’s mind, what might we accomplish for those who cannot be bold for themselves? If the reasons are right, then a little bit of chutzpah can’t hurt, can it.