There's a great discussion going on over one of nakedpastor's recent posts, about Jesus talking to the woman who's daughter was tormented by a demon (Matthew 15: 21-28). Check it out, you might enjoy the conversation. Persistent Truths | nakedpastor.
I think this sheds light on Jesus learning obedience (Hebrews 5:8). The story begins with him possessing a rather fundamentalist mindset, but ends with him perhaps surprised that faith can be found in other than the people of God as he understood it (”Woman, great is your faith!“). I love this story because it exhibits his humanity… a man forced to come to terms with truth foreign to what he is already certain of. He has to adjust, or amend, his theology because of the arguments of this woman.
Even at 12, Jesus knew He had to be about His Father’s business (Lk. 2.41ff). As He ‘continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him’ (Lk. 2.40), I believe that means He matured into His human understanding of His Christological and soteriological purposes that did not need further illumination from a Gentile. That’s why, in my earlier post, I wrote that I would be uncomfortable agreeing with our gracious host’s suggestion of the encounter leading to Jesus amending His theology. But I continue to be fascinated with the ‘Christ of faith and the Jesus of history’ (thanks to faithlessinfatima), which is how I understood the primary direction of Rev. Nakedpastor’s post to take. Certainly at face value, the encounter with the Syrophoenician woman implies a debate with Jesus that ended with Jesus ‘capitulating’ to her request. It is reminiscent of Abraham bargaining with God over the doom of Sodom (Ge. 18.22-33) and Moses speaking to the LORD in a way that God ‘changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.’ - Ex. 32.14 (NAS) My Reformed Theology friends really have difficulty with that one.