Jesus created an uproar when he fed thousands with a handful of food. He began to avoid the crowds by going to regions outside of Galilee such as Tyre in what is now Lebanon.
First, why did Jesus avoid the people who were clamoring to see and hear him? Because their motives were harmful. They were responding to the excitement of the show, not the truth of the Presence of God. In the words of James, they had neither faith nor deeds.
Second, Jesus wanted his Apostles to understand that their future missions would take them to the Gentile world. Likewise, he wants you and me to understand that we must reach every corner of the world with the Love of God.
Notice that Jesus entered a house hoping to be left alone, but even in the foreign land people knew of him. It is easy to forget that Jesus was a human in every respect. He needed rest just as we do. The crowds of people wore him down.
Jesus knew his mission because he was in constant communion with God. His mission was to the chosen people, but he also knew Peter and the others would eventually work with peoples of many nations. Jesus needed to give them a sense of the importance of that work.
The Greek woman approached Jesus bravely, but with humility. She knew he was a Jew and that Jewish men had nothing to do with non-Jewish women and little to do with Jewish women. Yet she fell at his feet and begged for his gift to save her daughter.
There is no way to soften Jesus’ words in response. The children should be fed first, because it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs. NJB Jesus called the woman a dog. In any culture, that is an insult. Why was he so harsh?
Jesus knew the woman’s heart. He knew that she believed he had the power of God to heal. She was not like the thousands who only glimpsed the flash and bang, who only saw magic without grasping the Truth.
He also knew this was a teaching moment for his stout-hearted Twelve. He wanted them to see their Teacher working wonders with the Greeks.
Who deserves my service? Who needs my help? Where do I draw the line? Who are the lepers I must not touch?
Don’t ever attempt, my brothers, to combine snobbery with faith. Phillips There are no limits. Jesus was ready to serve every human in the world and he has given us the task of doing that on his behalf.
Every human on earth is my equal.
Be righteous and do good.