Jesus's Parables and Lessons - Food and Dogs
The gospel lesson in church today was about Jesus talking about how what enters the mouth as food is not what defiles a person because it comes back out of a person, but how what comes out of the mouth is what defiles a person because that comes from the heart.
That is followed by the lesson where Jesus goes to Lebanon, away from the Israelites, and encounters a woman who is not an Israelite or Jew. She first identifies him as Jew and asks for his help because her daughter is demon possessed.
Our interim pastor has said that she doesn't care for this story because it sounds like Jesus is being sarcastic towards the woman. In a way, I can see that. He says that he came to save the Israelites.
However, I can see why these two stories are put together or happened so soon.
Jesus may have sounded rude or sarcastic, but it is most likely the Israelites that believed in Jesus coming to save them and not foreigners. He is not truly speaking to the culture, but to belief.
The woman, when she tells Jesus, that even the little pet dogs eat the crumbs of food that are dropped by the children, is saying that whatever miracle that Jesus has left after giving what he has to the Israelites is enough for her. Her heart is full of faith in Jesus Christ. Indeed, she was an "Israelite" in her heart.
Thus, when Jesus heard her say how the dogs eat the crumbs, He knew that her faith was great.
Of course, He probably knew this being the Son of God and being God, but Jesus wasn't sent to earth to show off that he had these powers. He was sent to save believers and to help them have faith.
It didn't matter what she ate or what her little pet dogs ate. It didn't matter if the law said they were clean. It didn't matter if the law said the mother and the daughter were not Israelites.
What came out of the mother's mouth proved that she was not defiled. She had faith.