Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
Matthew 15:22-28 (NIV)
22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” 25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” 27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” 28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
Many people struggle with this passage. They wonder why Jesus seems to dismiss this Canaanite woman in such a demeaning way, especially after showing great compassion to others. But the miracles of Jesus are not one-size-fits-all. He treats every person and every situation individually and uniquely. This woman’s statement about dogs eating the scraps from their master’s table shows that she believes she is not worthy of God’s mercy but believes that the God of Israel is the true God and that Jesus is gracious and compassionate. Her humble faith is in stark contrast to the pride and arrogance of the Jewish leaders who rejected Jesus (see Matt. 15:1-20). Is Jesus condescending? Is Jesus harsh? Or is Jesus showing us what “great faith” looks like? Praise God that Jesus has thrown the “bread” of His promise of salvation to us “dogs” so that we can be part of God’s family!