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)
What was Jesus saying?
We need to remember here that in this region of the world at Jesus’ time dogs were mostly wild scavengers, and a Canaanite was a Gentile and an outsider living in a mostly Jewish area. However, the term that Jesus uses for dog is one that is more a term for a domesticated pet you would have affection for. Does that make it right? Maybe, maybe not, but Jesus came to the lost sheep of Israel to call them back, and it was not yet time for the gentiles to be included. But When Jesus sees the faith of this woman who has made her home among the lost sheep, Jesus “throws her a bone” (pun intended). He saw in her the faith he wanted to see in the lost sheep.
Does He see that faith in you?