Why Did Jesus Call The Woman A Dog

Why did Jesus call the Canaanite woman a dog?

QuestionAnswer During His ministry in Matthew 15:21–28, Jesus comes across an imploring Canaanite (Syrophoenician) lady who begs Him to heal her daughter. “It is not acceptable to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs,” Jesus tells her when she first approaches him with her request (Matthew 15:26). When taken out of context, and especially when written in English, it’s easy to interpret this as an offensive remark. It is evident, however, that Jesus is constructing a metaphor in order to clarify the goals of His mission as it moves through the narrative.

Gentiles were occasionally referred to as “dogs” by Jews during Jesus’ time.

In ancient times, non-Jews were seen as so unspiritual that simply being in their company may render a person ceremonially unclean (John 18:28).

According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus left Israel and traveled to Tyre and Sidon, which was Gentile territory (Matthew 15:21).

  • At this moment, Jesus defined His current work in a way that was understandable to both the lady and the disciples who were standing by watching.
  • Distracting His attention away from Israel would be analogous to a parent taking food away from his children in order to give it to their dogs, which would be a breach of His mandate (Matthews 15:26).
  • An entirely distinct phrase from the phrase kuon, which refers to unspiritual individuals or a “unclean” animal in the traditional sense of the word.
  • The Canaanite woman receives a similar answer from him.

The lady, on the other hand, exemplified the concept Jesus Himself taught in the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1–8): “Be persistent to the end.” Her response demonstrated that she completely comprehended what Jesus was saying while yet having the conviction to ask the question (Matthew 15:27).

According to the context and words used, Jesus did not refer to the Canaanite lady as a “dog,” either directly or indirectly, according to the evidence.

He was also putting the woman’s faith to the test, and he was imparting a valuable lesson to His disciples. Questions about Matthew (return to top of page) What was Jesus’ reasoning for calling the Canaanite lady a dog?

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Why Did Jesus Call a Woman a Dog?

A little more than 1,500 years before Jesus was born, the Canaanites turned against the Jews and forced them to flee the Promised Land. It was at this time that the Jews became mortal enemies with the Canaanites. According to Matthew 15:21-28, the account of a frantic Canaanite lady who was so determined to find healing for her daughter that she broke social and religious customs by openly speaking to Jesus (a man she didn’t know) —and beyond that, a Jewish man. The fact that Jesus, God in the flesh, loved this woman is clear from everything else we’ve read in the Gospels.

  1. “Son of David, take compassion on me!” she begs in desperation.
  2. There are numerous words that may be used to describe God’s love for us, and mercy is surely one of them.
  3. Those two phrases capture the essence of the gospel: misery is the bad news, representing the situation in which we find ourselves; mercy is the good news, representing God’s love.
  4. But Jesus didn’t even bother to respond to her.
  5. God does not always respond in the manner that we expect him to.
  6. We’ll go on with the tale from here.
  7. They protested that her screams were making them uncomfortable.

Do they want him to tell her to leave them alone?

“It’s not ethical to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs,” he responds emphatically.

It’s hard not to think of this as the kind, caring, compassionate Jesus who reached out to those who couldn’t reach out to him, cured lepers, paralyzed, and blind, and catered to those who were the least, the last, and the least of these?

It has already been established that the Canaanite lady is a desperate mother who will not give up!

This conversation—and, more importantly, the love connection that Jesus extended to this woman—requires two essential elements.

It was referred to as the Messianic banquet.

The Jews were well aware that the Exodus, when God delivered them from slavery in Egypt, was the pivotal and defining event in their history.

Apparently, this Canaanite woman was well aware that she had been invited to the celestial supper.

The Greek word for “dog” is a phrase used to refer to a puppy or a pet kept in the home.

When Jesus referred to her as a dog, he was referring to the dogs that ate precisely what this lady had requested—the leftovers from the master’s dinner.

Jesus commends her for her faith and for her patience in waiting for a response, and he cures her daughter as a result of her perseverance.

For many of us, we may feel like the Canaanite lady, that we are not welcomed by the religious establishment of our day.

Initially, he may appear to be deafeningly quiet. But he will never refuse to accept us. It makes no difference to him what color we are, what gender we are, or where we are in life he offers us. He will never refuse to accept us as his guests.

Why does Jesus refer to the Canaanite woman as a dog?

Specifically, Matthew 15:21-28 is where the section in dispute appears. Our Lord is contacted by a gentile Canaanite lady (also known as the Syro-Phoenician woman), whose daughter has been afflicted by a demon, and our Lord responds by granting her wish. On first hearing their talk, Our Lord appears to be antagonistic and uncompassionate; yet, drawing such a judgment is antithetical to Jesus’ character and is unworthy of our attention. This passage is, without a doubt, difficult to understand.

  1. First and foremost, Jesus’ message was to the people of the covenant, i.e., the Jews, who were eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Messiah.
  2. His openness to the gentiles, however, had previously been demonstrated by His treating the centurion’s servant boy, to name a few examples (Mt 8:5-13).
  3. The Jews used terms such as “gentile dog,” “infidel dog,” and subsequently, “Christian dog” to refer to non-Jews.
  4. He must not have meant “dog” in a derogatory or mocking manner.
  5. For example, calling someone a “rascal” would be disparaging if used in a literal sense, but I recall calling my nephew (when he was a toddler) “you little rascal,” of course in a loving manner.
  6. Most essential is the lady’s faith and her tenacity, which is expressed as follows: “Oh woman, tremendous is your faith!

Jesus Calls a Canaanite Woman a Dog

And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “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, “Send her away, for she is crying out 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.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread 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, “O woman, great is your faith!

  1. Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
  2. Headlines read: “TheChristCalls a Canaanite a Canine.” Blogs blow up with words like bigotry, racism, arrogance, intolerance, prejudice, hatred and narrow-mindedness.
  3. Skeptics like to use this passage (paralleled in Mark 7:24-30) to charge Christ with expressing the ethnocentrism of His day.
  4. The English word “dog” can be expressed by at least two terms in Greek.
  5. We see this usage in Matthew 7:6, Luke 16:21, Philippians 3:2, 2 Peter 2:22 and Revelation 22:15.
  6. That said, we know from other literature of the time that it was quite common for first-century Jews to call Gentiles “dogs” using the termkuon.
  7. He, instead, usedkunarion, which was often used affectionately of household pets.

I think the answer is that He did not intend to insult at all.

Tommy Williams, an inmate at Shawshank, approaches Andy Dufresne, the protagonist, and asks for help getting his high school equivalency.

Why then does Andy call Tommy a loser?

He wants to weigh his tenacity and the degree of his desire to complete the task ahead.

It is a test.

The comment, though considerably softer than the cultural standard, is still a carefully aimed assault on the woman’s pride.

The woman’s response is incredible.

She recognizes that she is a dog, but also that He is a merciful and gracious Master.

12:1-3), a promise further clarified and fulfilled as ethnic divisions crumbled at the cross (Gal.


3:28-29, Col.

If we approach Christ, we must mirror the response of the Canaanite woman, for we are all dogs.

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We are dogs, yet in Christ, the Master Himself feeds us from His hands.

In Christ, we find help and hope.

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The time that Jesus called someone a dog

A challenging chapter is when Jesus, in an interaction with “the Syrophoenecian lady,” refers to her as a “dog.” It’s a difficult passage to read. What is the best way to make sense of it? The event is told in two places in the Bible: Mark (7:24-30) and Matthew (15:21-28). As a result, one evangelist determined that the narrative was significant enough to convey, while another determined that the story was important enough to repeat. In the episode, Jesus travels to the country of Tyre and Sidon, which is considered heathen territory, in the hopes of not being recognized (as Mark describes).

It is his opinion that “first and foremost, the children must be nourished, since it is not ethical to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she responds, “but even the dogs under the table take the crumbs from the children’s meal.” “Because of this word, you may go your way; the devil has left your daughter,” Jesus replies, a tone of appreciation in his voice.

One feature of the narrative should stand out to us straight away – the fact that the daughter was restored as a result of the mother’s confidence in the process.

Bede observes that children are delivered from the devil in baptism by virtue of their parents’ faith and confession, despite the fact that they are incapable of knowing good from evil or acting in either manner.

Physical healing was viewed as a significant and yet secondary evidence of the advent of “the kingdom of God,” despite its prominence in Christian tradition.

A prayer of exorcism is included in the new rite as well, and it begins with the words: “Almighty and ever-living God, you sent your only Son into the world to cast out the power of Satan, the spirit of evil, to rescue man from the kingdom of darkness, and to bring him into the splendor of your kingdom of light.

  • We pray for this kid, asking God to set him (her) free from the bonds of original sin.” The episode’s most challenging aspect, though, is when Jesus refers to the lady as a dog.
  • So, how are we supposed to interpret this?
  • We interpret Jesus’ behavior toward her as a lighthearted assumption of the disdainful attitude toward heathen neighbors that many Jewish people at the period held toward their pagan neighbors.
  • God rewards her for being courageous and sends her forth on her journey with her wish fulfilled.
  • Matthew records that the lady screams out, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David,” as she first approaches Jesus on the road to Bethlehem.
  • In a Semitic culture, pleading for forgiveness would be equivalent to taking the humble position of postulant.
  • On the basis of these assumptions, it is impossible that she would suddenly flip to “cutting it up” with Jesus as if she were a close friend of his.
  • Even yet, they acknowledge that the word “dog” would be difficult for her to pronounce.
  • They also underline how courageous the lady was for responding at all to someone she viewed as a monarch and addressed as “Lord” in the first place.
  • “Consider this woman’s wisdom,” St.
  • He refers to the Jews as children, while she refers to them as masters; he refers to her as a dog, and she accepts the position of a dog.” St.

The Lord had spoken to her as a dog, and she did not respond by saying, ‘I am not,’ but by saying, ‘I am.” And because she admitted that she was a dog, the Lord responded quickly, saying, ‘Woman, wonderful is your faith; may it be granted to you just as you have asked.’ ‘You have identified yourself as a dog, and I now recognise you as a member of the human race,’ I say “Jesus instructs us to humble ourselves in order that God may exalt us.

Job refers to himself as a maggot (25:6).

However, we have removed the word “wretch” from the song “Amazing Grace” since it is considered objectionable.

Or, if God were to say to us now in prayer, “You are a dog because of your sins!” wouldn’t that pagan lady be able to instruct us on how to respond?

– Michael Pakaluk is a Professor of Ethics and Social Philosophy at The Catholic University of America’s Busch School of Business. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. “The Memoirs of St. Peter,” which is a book on the gospel of Mark, is available from Regnery Gateway Publishing.

Why did Jesus call the Canaanite woman a dog?

The ESV version of Matthew 15:21 is Matthew 15:28. As a result, Jesus left that place and proceeded to the Tyre and Sidon region to rest. A Canaanite lady from that country came out and cried out, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is being terribly afflicted by a demon,” 22and the scene changed dramatically. ClarifyShareReport Asked Anonymous on August 25, 2015 (via GotQuestions) The responses from the community are arranged according to how many people voted for them. The greater the number of votes, the higher the position of an answer on the list.

  1. “It is not acceptable to take the children’s bread and hurl it to the dogs,” Jesus says when she first approaches him with her plea.
  2. August 25 20150 replies Vote for it, share it, and report it.
  3. He was born in the city of Benny Alexander and raised in the city of Benny Alexander.
  4. He was on a mission to reach out to the Jews in the limited time that He had left on this planet.
  5. Please keep in mind that there is no racial segregation here.
  6. It was a Jewish custom that Jewish leaders considered themselves to be God’s offspring (human beings), while others were considered to be dogs that need human assistance to survive.
  7. When we read this verse, we must pay close attention to the circumstances around the occurrence as well as the historical period during which it occurred.

Chris Eleam is a writer and musician from the United Kingdom.

A Phoenician mother begged with Jesus to cure her daughter, and Jesus heard her request.

The implication was that it was impossible for him to provide care for non-Israelis at the expense of deserving Jews.

Arun Kumar is an Indian businessman and philanthropist.

Because the Jews considered Gentiles as dogs, Lord used the language of the Jews in order to communicate.

Jesus employed this common lingua franca in a number of other contexts as well.

0 replies on October 8, 2013 Vote for it, share it, and report it.

The tale of the Lord choosing and empowering his disciples may be found in Matthew 10:1-4.

In light of what has already been established, Christ’s earthly ministry was primarily directed for the Jew, his chosen people.

Understanding God’s covenant relationship with Israel, which began with Abraham’s call in Genesis 12, the Gentiles had no claim on the Messiah as the “Son of David,” according to the Bible.

“Truth, Lord: but the dogs devour the crumbs that fall from their masters’ tables,” she confessed after acknowledging that she had no claim.

Your question is as follows: “What is it about Jesus’ treatment of the Canaanite lady in Matthew 15:22-28 that seems so cruel?

According to Matthew 10, Christ commissions his followers and provides them specific instructions to carry out their task.

“Jesus said unto them, My meat is to accomplish the will of him who sent me, and to finish his work,” according to John 4:34.

I feel that it is apparent from the scriptures that Christ was carrying out the will of the determined council at the time.

The phrase is not meant to be taken as a metaphor or an allegory.

For this reason, keep in mind that you, being Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; that you were without Christ at that time, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world; but now, through the blood of Christ, ye who were once far off are brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:11-13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Having come to the realization that Christ was a Jewish Messiah (as he explained to the Greek lady in Matthew 15:24), he was not the focus of her devotion despite the fact that “son of David” is a Jewish title.

When she addressed him as “Lord,” he replied positively.

According to what John 6:37 teaches us.

6:44 (John 6:44) I will raise him up at the last day if he is drawn to me by the Father who sent me.” “No man can come to me except the Father who sent me draw him.” Yes, our wonderful Lord saved a few Gentiles along the road, but it was not until after his death, burial, and resurrection that the floodgates of salvation were opened to the entire world.

  • 1 answer received on November 15, 2015 Vote for it, share it, and report it.
  • Jesus traveled to the shores of Tyre and Sidon before returning to Jerusalem.
  • This lady was a Gentile who descended from the Canaanites, who had occupied Syria and Palestine before to Joshua’s capture of the latter by the Hebrew nation.
  • The Lord refers to Jews as children and Gentiles as dogs when he speaks of them.
  • The phrase “dogs” (Gr.
  • Verse 27 She responded by saying that such dogs consume the crumbs that fall from their master’s dinner table.
  • This plainly demonstrates that there were millions and millions of additional Gentiles who would subsequently be blessed by Israel’s Messiah.
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(See, for example, Matthew 8:10) on the 6th of July 20140 responsesVote UpShareReport Lynn Willis is the obedient daughter of the Supreme Ruler of the Cosmos.

I think that because she was a Caananite and not a member of the house of Israel, Jesus’ mandate was to shepherd (cure, restore) the lost children of Israel, despite the fact that He preached all over the world.

The moral of the story is that trust in Jesus can overcome any obstacle.


According to this chapter of Matthew 15: 21-28, it is apparent that the lady, who was not a Jewish woman, is well aware of who Jesus is (verse 22), and that she was believing and placing her trust in Him.

As God’s creation and a companion to man (Genesis 2: 18-20), dogs are important members of the human family, and Jesus came not only for humanity, but for all of creation (Mark 16:15).

Esther Martinez is a woman who lives in the United States.

She (and all of us non-Jews) were not supposed to be compared to dogs, and I don’t believe he was referring to ‘her’ specifically in his statement.

The dog signified the person being distracted and losing his or her attention.

He was well aware that if he achieved his aim of salvation, ALL would be benefited.

Life and reconciliation with God were the “Bread” in this situation, and it required to be handled preciously (decently and in order) as only He could.

Jesus couldn’t help but be a helpless victim! All honor and glory to God. Amen! 1 answer received on November 15, 2015 Vote for it, share it, and report it.

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Thrive: When Jesus Calls a Woman “a Dog”… – Melanie Storie

It is not fair,’ Jesus responded, ‘to take the children’s food and give it to the dogs.’ “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table,” she said. —Matthew 15:26 and Matthew 15:27 I’ve always been interested by the idea that Jesus referred to a human being as a dog. Jesus, who welcomed infants and healed a blind man with spit-mud, as well as with women of doubtful moral character and short-statured tax collectors, did some stunning things. However, belittling a lady on her knees asking for pardon appears to be an overreaction.

  1. ), the dog statement seems a touch harsh to me.
  2. He inquired as to whether or not we pretended to be Bible believers.
  3. After that, we went on to Genesis 1–3 and read it in its entirety.
  4. In the aftermath of this presentation, my lecturer stood in front of the class and remarked, “And you claim to believe in the Bible.” Then he walked out of the room!
  5. Some appeared to be in pain.
  6. “This is going to be a lot of fun!” That was the case.
  7. A lady who wasn’t meant to comprehend it, but did, came up to Jesus while Jesus was going about with disciples who were hardly understanding what he was saying.

He was certain that he could turn the tables on her, pretending to be a Pharisee, and persuade her to instruct those whining followers for a change.

He was confident that she would remove those crumbs off the table and turn them into crumb cake.

The Canaanite lady is tenacious in her pursuit of justice.

We, too, should be persistent.

Jesus informs her that her faith has resulted in the healing of her child.

However, there is a reference to Jesus in this passage.

He recognized her as soon as he laid eyes on her.

It’s like that with the finest professors; they occasionally let their students to teach themselves.

We have a lot to learn in this area.

Previously, she served as a children’s minister in churches in North Carolina and Virginia.

In addition, she and her husband, Matt, were active in the ministry of Sowing Seeds of Hope, a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship ministry in Perry County, Alabama. Melanie and Matt are the parents of two sons, Aiden and Owen. They have since relocated to Shelby, North Carolina.

The Shocking Words of Christ

Many people believe, and rightfully so, that Jesus is the central figure in each and every book of the Bible. Jesus, on the other hand, does not appear to be a heroic figure when we first meet him in Matthew 15:26. Instead, it looks like he is failing to be missional, and in the process, he is being completely impolite to everyone. Take a look at the situation:

  • When Jesus is in “the province of Tyre and Sidon” (Matt. 15:21), he is contacted by “a Canaanite lady” (Matt. 15:22), providing an excellent chance for cross-cultural gospel witness. The lady begs Jesus to heal her daughter, who has been “severely afflicted” by a demon for a long period of time (v. 22). Who could ever say no to such a request
  • Jesus is addressed by his bereaved mother with titles that reflect reverence, understanding of her son’s Jewish origin, and faith in his power: “Have pity on me, O Lord, Son of David” (v. 22). Jesus’ answer is deafening silence
  • He does not say “a word” to her (v. 23)
  • And he does not say anything to anybody else. When the disciples implore Jesus to send the lady away, he responds by saying, in essence, “I’m only here for the poor and needy Jews.” He will go after the lost sheep of Israel (v. 24), but will not even bother notifying a Gentile that he has gone astray. Upon the woman’s persistence, Jesus declares our verse: “It is not good to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs” (v. 26), which refers to canines, which have predominantly negative connections in both Jewish tradition and Scripture.

If similar statements were said by a Christian leader today, we would propose that he undergo remedial training in apologetics and pastoral care, and we could begin to doubt his suitability for ministry. As a result, what are we to make of Jesus’ response to the Canaanite woman in John 8?

Charting Out the Options

Three types of interpretations can be distinguished. The first tries to soften the impact of verse 26 on the listener. As an example, some people interpret the passage as a straightforward repeat of Jesus’ message that the focus of his mission is on Israel. Others have suggested that Matthew’s diminutive termkunarioi, which translates as “small dogs,” has positive, possibly even friendly implications in its meaning. This method, on the other hand, inevitably fails. As the tale progresses, Jesus’ replies become more intense, progressing from silence to an emphasis (spoken to the disciples) on the rightful recipients of his ministry, and then to an outright denial (said directly to the woman) thatkunarioishould be among those beneficiaries.

  • If you are reading this in such an environment, any mention of dogs is offensive, even if you are being compassionate.
  • There are three considerations that argue against this interpretation, in addition to Matthew’s explicit teaching that Jesus is God incarnate (Matt.
  • First and foremost, the observant reader recalls that two Canaanite women, Rahab and Ruth, are included in Jesus’ genealogy (Matt.
  • This demonstrates that God’s purposes—and, consequently, Jesus’ attitude—are not limited by the prejudices of ancient Israelite society.
  • 13:57, 15:12, and 17:27, to name a few examples), with some even accusing him of wicked deeds (Matt (9:3, 9:34; 12:24).

Her response is instead a nod in agreement with Jesus (“Yes, Lord”), and she contrasts Jesus’ allusion to “small dogs” (psichin, the diminutive version ofpsix) with her own reference to “little crumbs.” Third, it is apparent that the lady has placed her whole faith in Jesus’ ability to deliver her.

She believed that even a “little crumb” of Jesus’ power would be sufficient to restore her daughter’s health. It is clear from her demeanor that the woman did not consider Jesus to be a sinner, and her attitude prevents Matthew’s readers from reaching that conclusion.

Invitation to Deeper Faith

A final interpretation of our text considers it to be a wise Master’s method of instilling trust in his pupils, which includes the Canaanite lady. Multiple degrees of understanding are achieved by doing so, including:

  1. First, Jesus’ startling response to the woman challenges her to demonstrate the depth of her faith by doing something extraordinary. Unlike other would-be followers, who either fail to answer to Jesus’ challenges (Matt. 8:19-22) or turn away altogether (19:16-22), this lady is unafraid of even the most difficult things Jesus may speak to her. As a result, in verse 28, Jesus expresses his high regard for her: “How wonderful your faith is, O woman! You may have it done for you as you like.”
  2. First and foremost, Jesus’ stern remarks to the lady are designed to serve as a lesson to others about the nature of steadfast faith. This lack of spiritual vision is demonstrated by Jesus’ disciples in the passages that immediately before and follow our text (15:18-19, 33), emphasising the difference between their “small faith” (8:26
  3. 14:31
  4. 16:8
  5. 17:20) and the woman’s “big faith.” According to this interpretation, Jesus intended his contact with the woman to teach the apostles—and those who follow him—what it means to have a faith that overcomes all obstacles to salvation. When faced with adversity, such faith endures and will not be shaken (10:22
  6. 13:21)
  7. Third, Jesus’ words to the Canaanite woman serve as a practical illustration of what it means to pick up one’s cross and follow him (10:22
  8. (Matt. 10:38
  9. 16:24). Simply said, if we are not yet prepared to face the humiliation of being referred to as dogs, we will not be ready to bear the dishonor of cross-bearing. Finally, by displaying the woman’s preparedness to respond in real faith to the demands of discipleship (10:24-25
  10. 5:11), Jesus’s teachings prepare his followers—both later generations and the apostles—for an universal mission in which faith, not ethnicity, is the determining element. adverbial phrase To take the children’s food and toss it to the dogs is not a good thing, and it is also not a good thing to forget that God is capable of raising up many children whose faith equals that of father Abraham (Matt. 3:9
  11. 8:11
  12. Rom. 4:1-17)
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At first look, we are taken aback by Jesus’ lack of emotional intelligence in Matthew 15:26. The text challenges us with our lack of sensitivity, whether it is to the power of a desperate mother’s steadfast faith, to the demands of discipleship, or to the depths of mercy that make Jesus willing to bless everyone who comes to him in real faith. It’s important to note the parallel passage in Mark 7:24-30. References: Deuteronomy 23:18; 2 Samuel 16:9; Psalm 22:16; 59:6, 14; Proverbs 26:11; 1 Peter 2:22 See, for example, the research cited in Charles H.

  1. 190.
  2. 1:3) is a Canaanite, there is some controversy concerning whether she is also one.
  3. Matthew, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 10, 323).
  4. As Calvin puts it, the woman “believes that the door has been closed on her,” but Jesus’ intent is “to make her try in faith to get through the cracks in the wood,” according to Calvin (A Harmony of the Gospels Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Volume II, transcribed by T.
  5. L.

Why did Jesus call the Canaanite woman a “dog”? To teach us how to pray!

In Matthew 15:26, Jesus’ lack of emotional sensibility strikes us as surprising at first look. Deeper contemplation reveals that we have failed to see our own lack of sensitivity to the power of a desperate mother’s steadfast faith, to the needs of discipleship, and to the depths of mercy that make Jesus willing to bless everyone who comes to him in real faith. It is important to note the parallel passage in Mark 7:24–30. References: Deuteronomy 23:18; 2 Samuel 16:9; Psalm 22:16; 59:6, 14; Proverbs 26:11; 1 Peter 2:22; See, for example, the research cited in Charles H.


1:3) is also a Canaanite, there is some controversy regarding this.

Matthew, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 10, 323).

It is the goal of Jesus, according to Calvin, to “force [the woman] to attempt in faith to pass through the holes in the wood” (A Harmony of the Gospels Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Volume II. tr. T. H. L. Parker, Calvin’s Commentaries 2, 171), not to “make her think the door is closed on her.”

Why Did Jesus Call a Woman a Dog?

In this narrative, Jesus has a conversation with a lady whom He refers to as “a small dog.” After that, Jesus leaves the area and travels to the region of Tyre and Sidon, which may be puzzling to some people. In that same moment, a woman from Canaan appeared out of nowhere and called out to Him in a loud voice, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David!” “My daughter has been horribly possessed by demons.” Matthew 15:21–22 (KJV) Given that the lady comes from the Canaanite people, she is considered to be one of the Jews’ old foes, making her a surprise candidate for Jesus’ assistance.

But He didn’t say anything in response to her.

Matthew 15:23-24 is a passage of scripture.

Why did Jesus call the woman a dog?

  • God informed Abraham, “And in you shall be blessed all the families of the world.” (Genesis 22:17) (Genesis 12:3). This primarily linked to the Messiah’s descent from Israel, but it also alluded to Israel’s role as the nation of witnesses. As stated in Romans 1:16, “the gospel is.for the Jew first.” Similarly, when Jesus sent forth the Twelve, he instructed them not to “go into a city of the Samaritans” or “go into the road of the Gentiles.” “Rather, go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” says the prophet (Matthew 10:5a-6). Although Jesus did not ban the disciples from preaching to Gentiles if they came across them along the journey, he instructed them to first preach to the people of Israel.

“Lord, help me!” she cried out to Jesus after hearing Him tell the Canaanite woman that the Jews would be the first to accept Him: “Then she came and worshipped Him, crying out, “Lord help me!” But He responded by saying, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the stray puppies.” Matthew 15:25-26 is a biblical passage. The “children” refer to the Jews, while the “bread” refers to the spiritual sustenance, also known as the Gospel. The Greek word for “dog” iskyn, and it was a pejorative name used by Jews to refer to Gentiles in ancient times.

It may be used to express devotion towards a family pet as well.

“O lady, amazing is your faith!” Jesus exclaimed when he heard her response.

The woman accepted the situation, including who she was.

She couldn’t prevent the Gospel from being delivered to the Jews first, and she couldn’t change her ethnic background. She may, on the other hand, be persistent and exhibit her trust. “I’m not asking for the share of the land that belongs to the Jews,” she clearly states. “All I want is a few crumbs,” says the author. The woman received a prize from Jesus. The irony is that many Jews would lose out on God’s salvation because they lacked the faith, perseverance, and humility that this lady had.

They were given the crumbs that the Gentiles had thrown away or that had “fallen off the table.” Take a look at the progression:

  1. She couldn’t prevent the Gospel from originally reaching the Jews, and she couldn’t change her nationality either. She may, on the other hand, be persistent and show her belief. “I’m not asking for the piece of the land that belongs to the Jews,” she even states explicitly. “All I want is a few crumbs,” she says. The lady received a gift from Jesus, who rewarded her. Because they lacked this woman’s faith, tenacity, and humility, many Jews would lose out on God’s salvation, which is a tragic irony. There would be a large number of Gentiles saved. When the Gentiles rejected them, or when “crumbs dropped off the table,” they were given what was left over. Take a look at the sequence:

This is an excellent instance of the need of perseverance in prayer. Take a look at as well (Luke 11:5-13 and 18:1-8). Someone may have whispered in your ear, ‘Suppose you are not one of the elect,’ and you haven’t realized it yet. To be honest, she took our Lord’s remark to mean exactly what she thought it did. She was not one of the chosen people, and she had heard Christ remark, ‘I am not sent save to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,’ which meant “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Take note that this lady does not argue with that reality in any way, nor does she raise any questions about it; she intelligently waives it, and she just continues to pray, ‘Lord, please assist me!’ ‘Lord, please take pity on me!’ I’d want to extend the same invitation to you, my buddy.


Spurgeon was an English author and poet.

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