Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly. (Matthew 15:21-28, NRSV)
Jesus really called this woman a dog!
It was a term used by Jewish people to describe the Canaanites, and no it was not a term of endearment.
However, Jesus does use a different form of dog than most Jews would have. The dog they usually described the Canaanites as were wild scavengers, the dog Jesus uses, is a little dog, or a household pet.
The woman knows though that she has no claim to Jesus but through His mercy, and calls upon the extended blessings to the Gentiles promised through Abraham, a test that Jesus gave her, and she had the faith of knowing the promises…
Would we pass the test if Jesus called us a dog?
Do you know the promises God has made to and for you?
It is a test we all can hope to pass…