10 Jesus called the crowd near and said to them, “Listen and understand. 11 It’s not what goes into the mouth that contaminates a person in God’s sight. It’s what comes out of the mouth that contaminates the person.” 12 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended by what you just said?” 13 Jesus replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father didn’t plant will be pulled up.14 Leave the Pharisees alone. They are blind people who are guides to blind people. But if a blind person leads another blind person, they will both fall into a ditch.” 15 Then Peter spoke up, “Explain this riddle to us.” 16 Jesus said, “Don’t you understand yet? 17 Don’t you know that everything that goes into the mouth enters the stomach and goes out into the sewer? 18 But what goes out of the mouth comes from the heart. And that’s what contaminates a person in God’s sight. 19 Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adultery, sexual sins, thefts, false testimonies, and insults. 20 These contaminate a person in God’s sight. But eating without washing hands doesn’t contaminate in God’s sight.” 21 From there, Jesus went to the regions of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from those territories came out and shouted, “Show me mercy, Son of David. My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession.” 23 But he didn’t respond to her at all. His disciples came and urged him, “Send her away; she keeps shouting out after us.” 24 Jesus replied, “I’ve been sent only to the lost sheep, the people of Israel.” 25 But she knelt before him and said, “Lord, help me.” 26 He replied, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and toss it to dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord. But even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall off their masters’ table.” 28 Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith. It will be just as you wish.” And right then her daughter was healed. (Matthew 15:10-28, CEB)
I have always had an issue with this text because Jesus calls this woman a dog.
It is not good to take the children’s bread and toss it to dogs.
Now is this because she is a Canaanite? Even so, why does Jesus call her a dog? Yes, He has come for the house of Israel, but we see later that the mission of the church is to all people. So why?
I assume like many things it is to prove a point to the disciples. To teach them and us something. Yes, Israelites thought very little of Canaanites and many would call them names. But there was no need for this, but Jesus was teaching on following the law and eating with unclean hands and about what goes in a body verses what comes out of the body.
And this woman got faith. She knew that Jesus could heal her daughter. So she went to Him and asked, and Jesus said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and toss it to dogs.” To which the woman replied, “Yes, Lord. But even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall off their masters’ table.” Even the dogs, the lowly, eat the crumbs, the small mustard seed size pieces which fall off the table, and that is enough. She knew if even the smallest amount of Jesus was present with her that her daughter would be healed. And Jesus saw that come out of her at that moment.
It isn’t what goes in us, but what we give out.
What do you give out?