Jesus Honors a Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith
Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
“First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
“Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”
She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
Why did Jesus call this woman a dog. It was common among the Israelites to call non-Jews dogs. It was a term of derision, disrespect and racism. (Yes, even back then.) And Jesus was sent first to the Jews. However, the word for dog used here, is not a mangy, barnyard dog. It is the word for a little dog, a puppy. More a term of endearment.
But, what if this happened now? What if this woman had gotten offended as easily as so many people today? What if she had walked away in a huff? She would have missed the blessing of having her daughter healed.
Jesus was impressed with her humble reply. And He healed her daughter.
Question. What blessings do we miss because we are so quick to get offended.