He and his disciples travel to Tyre and Sidon. Now, these are Gentile cities. So, one wouldn’t expect to be followed here especially if you’re Jewish. An interesting sidenote—Jezebel’s hometown was Sidon (I Kings 16:31).
They are trying to slip unnoticed into a house. Apparently, it didn’t work because verse 25 says, “For a certain woman…heard of him, and came and fell at his feet.” Verse 26 tells a little more about her—she’s a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation. In short, that makes her a gentile. In the same verse, it says that she besought him which means that she’s not likely to give up. You see, she’s looking for help for her young daughter who has an unclean spirit.
Her persistence might have gone on for a while. It doesn’t really say but in verse 27 Jesus says, “Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.” Wow! There’s a lot in that verse.
The children are the Jewish nation, the bread is the ‘bread of life’, and the dogs are the gentiles. Not only is she a gentile but she’s a woman which is a second-class person to begin with. Jesus talks about the children of Jerusalem in Luke 13:34, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killed the prophets, and stoned them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!” And the bread? it’s in John 6:35, “Jesus said unto them, ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ ”
This second-class gentile who was only worthy of being referred to as a dog must have known all this. She starts off with “Yes, Lord…”. She knew who she was talking to. She knew who the children were and she also knew who the dogs were. She knew the children came first, but she had enough faith to say, “…yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.”
She had faith (Matthew 17:20) and Jesus met her with his grace that day. Her daughter was cleansed of the devil (verse 29). We have no leverage in life. Not before God we don’t. Be like the gentile woman who had nothing to offer Jesus. She just leaned on his grace.