Monday, September 21, 2009

Jesus was a public option

Jesus apparently took some convincing that he should cast his pearls before swine, or in this case, his bread to the dogs, to make health care accessible.

“But Lord,” said the lowly Canaanite woman. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

Jesus was pleased by her understanding. “Woman, you have great faith!” he said, astonishing the disciples. The disciples watched closely, and would later record this triumphant moment in the Holy Book. The Canaanites were the “dogs” of Israel, but this one—this “dog,” a far cry from one of the chosen—had great faith? Jesus told the woman that her request had been granted. And indeed from that very hour, the woman’s daughter was freed of her demon.

Likewise among the lepers, the outcast Samaritan - the immigrant - proved worthy of health care. Luke 17:11-19:

Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well."
Jesus raised the dead and cured the sick, and took care of outcasts from outside his church and immediate community. How did the established interests respond? With a death sentence, which is probably a pre-existing condition.

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