We worship a God who conquers by being conquered

Sermons and audio

a small dog under a table eating scrapsI don’t like the idea that Jesus could be defeated.

I think I know why it bothers me exactly. I suppose it has to do with who I believe Jesus to be.

If Jesus can be tricked, or changed by a witty remark, is he still God? Can the person who split the waters be beaten at a game of the dozens? Does salvation come down to who comes up with the most clever remark?

That would work if Noel Coward was writing the story. But he’s not.

Any attempt to protect Jesus though, ties us up in knots

Jesus was defeated in this encounter with a Canaanite woman advocating for her child.

The thing is that any attempt to explain away Jesus’ apparent defeat at the hands of this woman just don’t work.

So I’ll have to get over myself. God who allows us to defeat him. Huh?

The woman’s faith allows her to believe that she can best Jesus. Because she trusts he’s willing to be bested.

God conquers by being conquered…


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The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...


  1. galedoubtfulguest says

    this was an incredibly dense passage, as was your teaching – so much ground covered! I was reminded also of when Abraham argued with God about saving people in Sodom. It is almost like sometimes, but certainly not all the time, God invites us to argue with him. Such a strange thought to me. And then it looks like we are able to change God’s mind. Mary at the Cana wedding also.

    • Exactly! I had the same thoughts in mind as I was working on the sermon. This was long enough as it was though and I didn’t feel like I could go down all the alternate paths without exhausting most people.

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