In a recent Associated Baptist Press article, Miguel De La Torre, associate professor of social ethics at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, asks the question, “Was Jesus a Racist?”
He states in reference to Matt 15:21-28, “No matter how much I try to redeem the text, I cannot ignore the fact that Jesus called this woman of color a dog! I am forced to ask the uncomfortable question: Was Jesus a racist?” He implies that Jesus was in fact a racist who learned from a Canaanite woman.
An “uncomfortable question” is certainly right because if Jesus were a racist, then He was not sinless. Is 2 Corinthians 5:21 true or not? It states, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Did we have a perfect sacrifice die on the cross as a substitute or was Jesus simply a good man trying to overcome the social evils of His time?
The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is the sinless, perfect second person of the triune Godhead who was tempted in every way and did not sin. Perhaps Torre has a different view of Jesus.
Torre continues stating that this woman demanded “an equal place at the table of the Lord. . . . She demands to be treated as an equal. . . . she was entitled to a healing.” Sounds a lot like the culture of our age with demands and entitlement.
I am fairly certain that if we truly encountered the living God, we would not feel anything other than remorse. Finally he states, “Jesus learned something about his mission from this woman of color.”
While I understand the various views concerning the kenosis theory, I am not comfortable claiming that Jesus learned about His mission from a human. Any theory contending such comes very close to emptying Jesus of His Divinity and the question no longer is “Was Jesus a Racist?” but the questions becomes, “Was Jesus God?”
In fact this is really the uncomfortable question. If Jesus is truly God, then Jesus was no racist.