Scraps for Dogs

Matthew 15:21-28 reads as follows (ESV):

And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-23655B" data-link="(B)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-23655C" data-link="(C)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>“Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-23656D" data-link="(D)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>“Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” He answered, <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-23657E" data-link="(E)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-23658F" data-link="(F)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-23659G" data-link="(G)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-23660H" data-link="(H)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-23661I" data-link="(I)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>great is your faith! <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-23661J" data-link="(J)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>Be it done for you as you desire.” <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-23661K" data-link="(K)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>And her daughter was <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-23661L" data-link="(L)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>healed instantly.


This passage has always resonated with me. I’m not entirely sure why–maybe because of the dogs being present in the discussion and I’ve been part of a “dog-family” from my early years. Maybe because as a pretty timid woman, I delight in seeing this woman boldly ask this Jewish Prophet and Teacher for help. Maybe because I am not a bold pray-er. Or anything.

Some might see Jesus’ words to her as mocking. Unfeeling. Wrong.

Remember, though, that Jesus knows our hearts. He knew how this woman would hear His Words, and how she would respond. She was a strong woman to approach Him. She could hear His Words as He meant them, and not take undue offense, not be broken under His Words. Rather, she accepts His Word of challenge, of testing.

And she answers. Humbly and openly and acknowledging Him to be Who He is. Would that I might respond in such a manner to His Words!

Advertisements