Mt15 21-28 - Crumbs From the Master’s Table
Matt. 15:21-28 - Crumbs From the Master’s TableAt first glance I was amazed at the master’s apparent lack of concern for this woman, having missed the first time through that she was a Gentile. One can guess that his initial ignoring her was part of letting her faith come to light instead of just ministering to her need. That is, by waiting a bit the strength of her conviction and the lesson to the children of Israel would be all the more demonstrated. In a sense the disciples or the watching crowds (with “teachers of the law” present, no doubt) might have had issue with him granting her request had this little scene not played out the way it did.
I don’t know how I feel about him calling us Gentiles “dogs” (NIV Study Bible tries to lighten the sting by saying that the word is “little dogs,” (kunarion) meaning pets and not alley mongrels or something). But the idea isn’t about some racial superiority but about the focus of his mission. That the woman persists and takes his analogy and shows that even in that context there is room for compassion is an amazing demonstration of a mother’s persistence, determination and faith. It turns out to be another lesson to the Jews about what real faith in Jesus can accomplish. JBB 8/25/2004