Back in 1994, when I thought it would be cool to have a 'CB-like" online handle, I created "proud dog" as a result of my reaction to Mark 7:24-28. Over the years the name and it's significance has evolved (Was it created and then evolved? Did it really evolve only? Was it only created and though the meaning has changed a little it has not really 'evolved' in the scientific sense? :) but the name is still the same. I talk about it a little in this week's "Opening the Bible" blog entry at i.ucc. It's called "Proud dog."
In a strange and peculiar way (do those two words mean the same thing?) this weeks Bible reading (Mark 7:24-37) remind me regularly about Jesus humanity and divinity.
Back in 1994, when I thought it would be a 'cool' thing to have a CB-like nickname for my new online hobby, I found a passage in the Bible where a dog was mentioned -- without the 'returning to it's vomit' part that I'd read before. This time the verse referred to the good fortune a dog under the table has to catch the children's crumbs. The nickname "proud dog" was born.
In this week's Bible reading from Mark 7:24-37, (at least the first part) I see a tired and crabby Jesus. He was trying to get away from everyone by hiding in a house. A persistent woman with a sick daughter found him and asked that her daughter be healed.
Jesus' response was less than kind. The snotty remark about feeding the children (the Hebrew people) before the dogs (the Gentiles -- the woman who found Jesus was Syrophoenician -- a Gentile) wasn't at all nice to say. And the woman gave it right back to Jesus: "even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."
Jesus' response was priceless: "For saying that, you may go. The demon has left your daughter." It's as if he was saying, "OK -- you got me -- I'm feeling a little crabby and you're right -- I'm here for everyone -- thank you for reminding me."
Jesus -- who was fully capable of performing wonderful miracles, also was fully human. He understood the mood swings and the exhaustion and even learning something from another person.
This Bible passage and my experience with it paints a picture of Jesus that is real -- genuine and authentic. It paints a picture of someone I want to know better.
And I'm so proud (in a beaming and bubbling about what Jesus has done for me way) to be part of the "everybody" (and I mean everybody -- not just certain somebodies) that feels often like a child -- and often like a dog under the table.