More Than Crumbs, But The Whole Loaf And More (Matthew 15)

by Jul 31, 2022

“He answered, ‘It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ she said, ‘yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’” (Matthew 15:26-27)

Is Jesus calling this Gentile woman a dog or at least comparing her to one? It’s not a very popular thing to say in this day and age. In fact, Jesus would earn another free ticket on the Cancellation Express (along with the other things he said that would that is, but that’s a topic for a different time). 

Jesus effectively did compare this woman to a dog, but he’s also comparing Gentiles as a whole to dogs. At this point in time he was ready to reveal, once again, that faith is what saves, and this time not just for the Jews, but for the Gentiles, too. We simply can’t look at these verses from our perspective, but should from what Christ was doing in this moment for our sake.

Jesus went to Sidon and Tyre for a purpose. He knew this woman would acknowledge him as the Son of David, the Messiah. He even knew the disciples would want him to heal the woman’s daughter just for her to leave them alone. 

It was another moment in His ministry pointing to the concept of salvation for all by grace through faith. It may seem odd, but the woman even agrees, or perhaps even knew from prophecy, that it is not right to take what God’s chosen children deserve and be given away to the undeserving and unclean. But this woman is so desperate that she is willing to receive the crumbs of the Messiah as the kunarion, the house dog, both she and Jesus call herself. Jesus praises her faith and heals her daughter. 

In this moment, Jesus was able to heal this woman’s daughter—she was able to receive the “crumbs” through her faith. We don’t see the woman’s reaction to the healing, but we can imagine that there was a deep sense of gratitude and further faith in the Messiah. But the problem for eternal salvation still needed to be addressed. Jesus had to fulfill the Law first in order for Gentiles to become part of His kingdom. This would only happen at the Cross.

Because of the Cross, Jesus doesn’t just give us his crumbs, even when we aren’t even deserving of that. In fact, because of his sacrifice we get the whole loaf and more as his children. His love for us is truly unfathomable and should propel us to have that exceeds this woman’s. We should be filled with gratitude far beyond what many of us have. We should be transformed daily to become more and more like Christ.