Friends, our Gospel today from Matthew 15, the famous story of Jesus and the Syrophoenician woman, is one of those Gospels that bothers and unnerves people. How should we read it? It is not that Jesus was grouchy after a tough day of ministry, and this plucky woman speaks truth to power to get what she wants. We are meant to read it in a much more subtle way. This story is driving at an issue that is central to the Bible—namely, the relationship between Israel and the other nations.