lost sheep of the house of Israel
15:24 lost sheep of the house of Israel. The Lord Jesus had come into the world to die for the sin of the whole world, but He had also come as Israel’s promised Messiah. His seeming harshness to the Canaanite woman is best understood as not only a test of her faith in the God of Israel, but also as a means to show His disciples that Gentiles also were included in God’s plan and that they too could have saving faith. Jesus had used this same phrase, “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” when He first sent the twelve out to minister to these “lost sheep” (Matthew 10:5-6). The gospel was to go “to the Jew first” (Romans 1:16). However, when the Lord later sent the disciples out again, they were directed to witness “both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).