Weekly Lectionary takes a look (sometimes brief, sometimes longer, sometimes odd) at one of the lectionary passages for the upcoming Sunday. This week we're looking at the gospel passage of Mark 7:24-37, a difficult passage in which Jesus implies that a Syrophoenician woman is the same as a dog.
As usually happens with difficult passages, I imagine what it would have been like for two people watching the event. And last night I wrote an imaginary conversation between two disciples at the scene. Then this morning I wondered what would happen if I time traveled back to that event with someone who has been in the news a lot lately.
Chris: Did that really just happen?
Chris: Woman comes to Jesus. Tells him about her daughter. Jesus basically calls her a dog. Woman persists. Jesus heals the girl.
Trump: That's what happened.
Chris: I can't believe that. I mean...
Trump: Jesus totally caved!
Chris: I was going to say that I can't believe he called her a dog. Wait. Your problem is that he healed the girl?
Trump: Listen. I like Jesus. Lot of respect for him. Not many guys can heal a kid of demon possession; especially from a distance. But I had so much more respect for him a few minutes ago.
Chris: A few minutes ago when he compared healing the woman's daughter to giving the children's food to a dog?
Trump: He told her like it is. That takes guts. I like that. The man's got to take care of his own.
Chris: His own. As opposed to...
Trump: These Syrophoenicians. Listen, would I employ some of them? Yeah. And I bet they'd love me. But how does Jesus know this girl is their best? She could be a kid with lots of problems. Now that she's healed, she could be bingeing drugs, bringing crime. You can't just go around healing everyone without making sure it's a good return on your investment.
Chris: Investment? So he's just supposed to ignore somebody in need?
Trump: You heard the man. He's got a mission to his people. He's got to make them great again. Of course, the guy is never going to succeed if he keeps flip-flopping like that.
Trump: Let's say you have a movement. Your leader's a good guy. Charismatic. Does the little thing where he turns the water into a little wine. People love him. But then word gets out that some broad goes toe to toe with him. Not only that but he gives into her demands? Forget it. Nobody respects that. The guy's a loser. Jesus? Never heard of him.
Chris: What the bleep is wrong with you?
Trump: Hey, don't shoot the messenger. I'm just saying what everyone else is thinking. If this Jesus movement wants to have legs then he's going to have to stick to his guns.
Chris: You realize it did have legs, right?
Trump: Yeah, sure. I'm just saying I'd do it different. Not necessarily better. But almost certainly in a way that would get more results.
Chris: I've got to pick a better time travel partner next time.
Trump: It's your imagination, chief. Besides, you said this bothered you too.
Chris: It does. I believe that Jesus was without sin. This event comes awfully close to skirting that. It looks like prejudice. Now I am open to the idea that Jesus came to understand his mission organically. Maybe God spoke through this woman to help Jesus see that his mission was to more than just his people. Still the dog thing is a bit uncomfortable, you know?
Trump: What? Sorry. I had a great idea. Wall on the Mexico border. Doesn't let them in. Maybe has a moat with alligators or something. But on the Texas side of the wall? Five star hotel and casino. Top of the line all the way. Build it high so they can see it over the wall. A monument to why America will be the greatest country in the world.
Chris: I think we're done here.
Trump: I bet Congress would totally pay for that.
Chris: We're not talking anymore.