The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 76

Yeshua’s Extensive Tour throughout Galil ~ Part 2

In our last post, we introduced the new topic of Yeshua’s Extensive Tour throughout Galil. In this post, we begin to follow Yeshua’s Extensive Tour throughout Galil.

The Faith of a Woman from Kena’an

This passage raises the question: does Yeshua treat Gentiles demeaningly? Is he a Jewish chauvinist? As we will see, the answer is NO!

21 Yeshua left that place (Genessaret) and went off to the region of Tzor and Tzidon. [1] There He found a house to stay in and wanted to remain unrecognized but keeping hidden proved impossible. [2] 22 A woman from Kena’an who was living there came to Him, pleading, “Sir, have pity on me. Son of David! My daughter is cruelly held under the power of demons!” 23 But Yeshua did not say a word to her. Then His talmidim came to Him and urged Him, “Send her away because she is following us and keeps pestering us with her crying.” 24 He said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Isra’el.”

Yeshua’s mission before His death and resurrection was only to the Jews, God’s people. After the Ruach was given, the Gospel would reach Gentiles even in “the farthest parts of the earth” (Acts 1:8), who would be grafted into Isra’el through the Messiah (Romans 11:16–24).

25 But she came, fell at his feet, and said, “Sir, help me!” 26 He answered, “It is not right to take the children’s food and toss it to their pet dogs.”

There are two Greek words for dog, kuôn,” scavenging hounds that roam the streets in packs, and kunarion,” small dogs kept as house pets (only in this passage and its parallel, Mark 7:27–28). Yet even if Gentiles are not here compared with wild snarling beasts, are they still not being insulted? The answer can only be no more than in the Tanakh itself, where God especially takes the people of Isra’el as His children. And although Judaism teaches that the righteous Gentiles of the world have a share in the world to come, this is not a primary focus either in the Tanakh or in rabbinic Judaism.

27 She said, “That is true, sir, but even the dogs eat the leftovers that fall from their master’s table.”

The woman is not offended but understands what she has been told. In humility, she accepts not only her role analogous to that of a house pet being fed crumbs from the master’s table but also the implication that Yeshua’s Messianic mission is not for the present directed at Gentiles but Jews.

28 Then Yeshua answered her, “Lady, you are a person of great trust. Let your desire be granted.” And her daughter was healed at that very moment. [3]

On these terms, Yeshua grants her request. Her case differs from the Roman army officer at Mattityahu 8:5–13, an isolated Gentile in a Jewish community. Had Yeshua healed the daughter immediately, this bold, talkative woman would indeed have spread the news, unleashing an onslaught of Gentiles with needs; and this might have tempted Him to neglect His commission to “the lost sheep of the house of Isra’el.”

In our next post, we will continue to examine Yeshua’s Extensive Ministry Throughout the Galil when Yeshua Heals a Deaf-Mute.

Click here for the PDF version.


[1] Mattityahu 15:21.
[2] Mark 7:24.
[3] Mattityahu 15:22–28.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.