Why Did Hz. Isa Mesih Compare A Woman With A Dog?

Why Did Hz. Isa Mesih Compare A Woman With A Dog?

Have you ever accused Isa Mesih of being prejudiced against Gentiles and pagans? Didn’t Jesus once call non-Jews “dogs?” I have had Muslims tell me that Isa only came for Jews, or Israel.  He was unconcerned about other people.

Bible Passages and Apparent Prejudice

In one account, a Canaanite (pagan) woman asked Jesus to help her.  “‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.’ … He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.’ The woman came and knelt before him. ‘Lord, help me!’ she said. He replied, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ she said, ‘but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Jesus answered, ‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour” (Injil, Matthew 15:22-28).

When Isa Mesih called the woman a dog, He was probably referring to pet dogs, lap dogs. Higher-class Greeks sometimes raised dogs as pets and did not see them as troublesome, unclean pests.

Was Jesus Testing the Woman’s Faith?

Jesus often tested the faith of those who asked Him to do miracles. Isa actually told the woman that her faith was greater than the faith of all the Jews in Israel. What seemed like prejudice at first ended with praise!

Isa Mesih loved all people. At this point in His ministry He was focused on reaching Israel.  He knew that He had only a short time before he would be crucified. Isa’s priority was to make sure the people of Israel heard the Gospel message before He returned to heaven.

The Above Passage Shows That Jesus Loves All Races

In reality, though, this passage and others show that Jesus was not prejudiced against non-Jews. Isa Mesih healed the Canaanite woman’s daughter. Another passage that shows Isa’s love for everyone is His encounter with the Samaritan woman.

In John 4:1-26, Isa Mesih was traveling and stopped at a well to rest. A woman came to get water. He talked to her. The fact that Isa, a man, would talk to a woman, was a big deal.  An even bigger deal was that she was a Samaritan woman and He was a Jew. The Jews and Samaritans hated each other. Typically Jews took a long by-pass of many miles on their way to Judea in order to avoid Samaria and the Samaritans.

Isa Mesih and His disciples purposely walked through the area. Then Isa talked to one of its inhabitants! And more over to an adulteress! He wanted to interact with whomever came his way and tell them the Good News. Isa could do this because He had no prejudice in His heart.

Does the Muslim Quran Teach Prejudice?

The Quran, on the other hand, states that God does not like anyone except Muslims. In Qs. 2:121 all non-Muslims are called “losers.” Qs. 5:60 says, “Those whom God has condemned (Christians and Jews), afflicted with His anger, made apes out of them, swine and worshipers of Satan, will have the worst dwelling and will wander far away from the right path.”

This is very different from what the Bible teaches. God loves all people! While those who don’t believe in God are separated from Him, it is not because God doesn’t like them or has cursed them. It is because those people have chosen not to follow God.

So How Does Isa Feel About Humanity?

Isa Mesih loves all people, no matter what race they are. Isa came for everyone. Isa Mesih wants all people to hear the good news.  He wants all to receive eternal life.  This is why He said, “. . . go and make disciples of all nations [all ethnic groups]” (Mt. 28:19).  He also said, “. . . God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son [Kalimah Allah], that whoever [from whatever ethnic group] believes in Him [Kalimah Allah] shall not perish but have eternal life” (Injil, John 3:16).  

Clearly, because of His love, Isa Mesih came to earth to become the sacrifice for the sins of every ethnic group in the world. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Injil, Romans 5:8).

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We encourage our readers to email us their responses.  Please start a conversation with us by focusing on one of the following questions:

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1.) Why did Isa compare the Canaanite woman with a dog?
2.) Why the Canaanite women humble herself before Isa Mesih?
3.) Why does Isa want everyone to receive His love?