21Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon.22Just 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.” 23But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” 24He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” 27She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28Then 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)
This is another passage of scripture I have an issue with. Why does Jesus call this woman a dog? Yes, it was a way the Israelites referred to Canaanites but is this what we expect from Jesus?
In Matthew Jesus is focused on the Israelites and no further, there is a lot of things He says that point only to Israel, like here where He says He was sent for the lost sheep of Israel, but they listen as well as the rest of the world. But this woman gets it and she knows who Jesus is and what He can and will do for the world and for her and her daughter. She tells Jesus even the dogs get the scraps, and a scrap of grace is all she needs. And in that Jesus sees her faith. and Jesus does for her what she was asking.
Is a scrap of grace enough for you?