Thursday, 1 July 2010

Equality: Past & present

"Jesus went away from there, and withdrew into the district of Tyre and Sidon. And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, 'Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.' But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, 'Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us.' But He answered and said, 'I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.' But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, 'Lord, help me!' And He answered and said, 'It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.' But she said, 'Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.' Then Jesus said to her, 'O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.' And her daughter was healed at once." (Matthew 15:21-28; cf. Mark 7:24-30).

These lines of scripture taken from the New Testament reveal the mission of Christ. He was the saviour. But a saviour for Israel and the Jews. Not the Gentiles. Then a moment in time arrived. The Canaanite women stumbled upon The Messiah and insisted on her daughter being cured. Her humility overcame all resistance. She won the day. After this things could never be the same again. This was a foretaste of atonement. The Cross which brought a new covenent.

This is a story of faith and the soul or spirit. All are equal in spirit.
In material terms, however, we are not equal. Some are born with greater advantages or abilities. This is sometimes reflected in cultures and countries. Some cultures are not only different but are more more advanced than others. Some people are more dependent that others. These differences can often be reflected in countries and civilizations around the world even after decades of social engineering and attempts to level the playing field by creating thousands of new laws intent on reshaping society so that the less able can succeed.

Whether this makes for a happier or better society is another matter altogether. Communism has shown that water cannot run uphill.

Many today prefer to live in one particular culture and not only for economic reasons. As scientific advances are made which bring new light to our understanding on our human origins it is as well to reflect on what it is that is our basic substance; is it spirit or DNA? The Canaanite women was considered as not worthy enough but did not call Jesus a racist. She was not a Jew but understood that He represented her only hope for her daughter. Consequently, in faith she appealed to his spirit not his culture or DNA. And, this led to salvation and cure. Only in spirit can there be true equality.

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