“It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and cast it to the dogs” (Matthew 15:26).
What kind of words are these to say to a woman seeking mercy? The Lord Jesus had just referred to Jews as lost sheep (v.24), but then referred to this woman and non-Jews in general as dogs. Before sitting in judgment over Him, however, let us first contemplate how low He stooped to save such people. In a prophetic psalm describing His death, He said:
“I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, . . . Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion . . . dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet” (Psalm 22:6,7,12,13,16).
Undoubtedly Jesus was testing the woman, and probably the disciples as well. She came pleading for her daughter, but perhaps did not realize the utter poverty of her own condition. Eventually bowing in worship before her Creator, she did not seem to have taken offense. The Scripture says, “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6). This woman’s faith was soon rewarded; “her daughter was made whole from that very hour” (Matthew 15:28).
We do well to humble ourselves before the words of the master and not to take offense. Our responsibility is to wait upon Him (Isaiah 40:31), to bow our hearts before Him and to persevere in prayer (Luke 18:1). He is able to do far more than we could ever ask or think because one day, long ago, He became “a worm” so that human “sheep” and “dogs” could become “children” at His table. PGH