Jesus had commanded the disciples,

(Matthew 10:5 KJV) These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

He Himself had said,

(Matthew 15:24 KJV) But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

But, as He journeyed, a Gentile woman cried out to Him to help her daughter who had a devil. Its important to notice that He did not go out to this Gentile because she had a need, but "a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him":

(Matthew 15:21 KJV) Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

What would Jesus do? He had commanded the disciples not to go to the Gentiles and He Himself said He was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel. One would think by the next verse alone that Jesus paid no attention to her whatsoever:

(Matthew 15:23 KJV) But he answered her not a word. . . .

By not answering her, Jesus was showing the disciples that He was not there to minister to the Gentiles and remained consistent regarding His command to them. But, apparently, she was pretty persistent, and it began to irritate the disciples, who themselves started to pester Jesus to just heal her and get rid of her:

(Matthew 15:23 KJV) . . . . And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

Here Jesus reminds them of His purpose of coming:

(Matthew 15:24 KJV) But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

One would think by this time the woman would have given up. Jesus is seemingly ignoring her and He is telling the disciples He's not sent to the Gentiles, and here is this lady who won't be silent. So, the disciples are apparently getting more frustrated with her because she persists and draws nearer to Him:

(Matthew 15:25 KJV) Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

The word "worshipped" here means:

4352. proskuneo, pros-koo-neh'-o; from G4314 and a prob. der. of G2965 (mean. to kiss, like a dog licking his master's hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (lit. or fig.) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore):--worship.

2965. kuon, koo'-ohn; a prim. word; a dog ["hound"] (lit. or fig.):--dog.

Paul spoke of worship in spirit:

(Phil 3:3 KJV) For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

3000. latreuo, lat-ryoo'-o; from latris (a hired menial); to minister (to God), i.e. render religious homage:--serve, do the service, worship (-per).

The difference in "worship" spoken of here is obvious. One is as a dog to his master, the other is the worship of an adopted son of God ministering to God in the spirit through service to Him. Jesus replied to her worship with words appropriate to her worship:

(Matthew 15:26 KJV) But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and cast it to dogs.

First, Jesus ignores her, and then He calls her a dog for goodness sake. You would think she would have gotten furious and left for good. Yet, the woman persistently replied:

(Matthew 15:27 KJV) And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.

Simply amazing. The woman, a Gentile, knew her place and she knew Jesus' place in His being on earth to minister to the house of Israel. Had she heard of how He had said,

(John 6:35 KJV) . . . I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Possibly, even though she lived in the Tyre region north of Jerusalem. Even many of the Jews of His day didn't believe He was the bread of life come down from heaven, yet here is a Gentile "dog" alluding to the fact that she may have heard of Him in this way and believed. Jesus had told the Jews,

(John 6:36 KJV) But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?

She was saying, "I know you are not sent to the Gentile, but to your people, but I am as a dog under the table of your people and even a dog gets some crumbs from the table of those you came to serve. You are bread to me, and there is no other place to get it. All I want is a few crumbs. Even a dog has that right."

She knew her place in regards to Jesus' ministry to the Jews. But, in spite of this, she knew she had a place, and she wouldn't leave her place from "under the table." And now, finally, Jesus turned to her and replied:

(Matthew 15:28 KJV) . . . O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.


Dogs in the days of Jesus were an unclean animal and considered for the most part to be scavangers, often living in packs. They were seldom kept as household pets as they are today. The Jews of Jesus day considered the Gentiles to be "dogs," scavengers and wild beasts. And though the Gentiles were considered "dogs," Peter had a dream as related in Acts 10:

(Acts 10:11 KJV) And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
16 This was done thrice:

This, of course, was after Pentecost, and God essentially told Peter that though the Gentiles were to be considered dogs by the Jews, that was no longer so:

(Acts 10:28 KJV) And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

We, as Gentiles, were once considered dogs. Even Jesus called the Gentile woman a "dog," and therefore all Gentiles, dogs. But, because Christ shed His blood and died for all men, God did away with calling the Gentiles dogs. We would no longer eat the scraps, but would be able to sit at the same spiritual table in Christ whether one be a Jew or a Gentile.

What Jesus has done for us Gentiles through His finished is unfathomable. Realize Jesus brought us from being "dogs" to adopted sons of the Living God. I have a dog, and when I eat (some of you may not appreciate this <-G->), he always sits there waiting patiently, under the table, waiting for a scrap or two from me. He knows he will get it, but he also knows he has to wait patiently for it while sitting there rolling his big brown eyes acting as if he really doesn't care. In reading the above verses, it was very striking to me as I thought of what it would be like to be him, waiting for some man to give me a scrap or two of food. Sometimes when I wait too long, he sort of shuffles around a little bit and moves an inch or two closer just so I won't forget he is there, patiently waiting. Who could resist giving him what he wants? I can't. And I thought about how we as Gentiles were considerd dogs at one time, but now as believers, we are considered differently:

(Ephesians 2:12 KJV) That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

That's a pretty miserable state to be in, but then these verses continue to show the glory of Christ and God's plan:

(Epheisnas 2:13 KJV) But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

In Christ, the we are no longer considered to be dogs. We are now members of the household of God:

(Ephesians 2:18 KJV) For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Can we even imagine what it would take to make my dog a member of my household? It would be impossible! Yet, when we think of "a dog" in the bilibcal context of what I've written, such a thought brings out the tremendous love God has for both the Jew and Gentile that He would send His Son to die for us all.

Some today say God is done with Israel. Others say all that Israel was promised is now in the possession of the Gentile Church. Others have applied the promises to Israel in the Old Testament to the Church, even raising up a "new" Abraham, a redefined Abrahamic Covenant, a "new" Isaac, etc. so it looks like Israel and talks like Israel, yet really usurps the place of Israel. Others make all the Gentiles of the world Jewish and do away with Israel. Others really do have a ministry to reaching the Jews with the Gospel. But the problem is that we as [Gentile] believers must hold to our position in the "household of God" and not interfer with God's plan for Israel, but just preach the gospel. Scripture warns the Gentiles that they were made part of the olive tree and that we should not boast against Israel, yet the boasts continue through all kinds of "new" doctrines. Realizing our state before God in Jesus' time and our position in Christ now, how much more should we heed the warnings of Paul in Romans:

(Romans 11:18 KJV) Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.
20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.
24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.
29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

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