Jesus said - "it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs."; what did He mean?

it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.

21 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Oh I LOVED this part! It teaches us essential lessons to our lives!!! Be right back, I have an article on this, but there is so much to it!


    First you have to understand this verse in it's literal sense, a more simple translation is, "It is not "good/proper/right" to take the children's bread and throw it to their dogs."

    It's no fun to be insulted, whether it's deserved or not. Have you ever been called a 'dog'? If you were called a 'dog', how would you react?

    It's noteworthy that that's what Jesus called this Canaanite woman and her daughter. When she came to Him and begged that He heal her daughter, He said,

    "It is not right to take the children's bread

    and toss it to their dogs."


    Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."

    Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."

    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. (Matthew 15:21-28)

    This contains many valuable lessons for us....

    1. This woman shows you what kind of faith you need to have.

    She recognized that she was unworthy. She accepted what Jesus said. She accepted being called a 'dog'. She recognized that the timing was not right — Jesus, during His earthly ministry, was sent primarily to the Israelites. But none of that stopped her.

    She did not let her pride get in the way. When Jesus said this to the Canaanite woman, she could have become very angry. Many people in that situation would utter some oaths and told Jesus where He could go.

    They would have said, "You can't talk to me like that!"

    But this woman didn't react like that. Her need was too great to allow her pride to get in the way.

    This woman saw that her only hope was in Jesus. She trusted in Him. Her faith was solely, exclusively, wholeheartedly in Him.

    2. You and I are sinners - those who disobey God do not deserve God's love or compassion.

    Jesus referred to the Canaanite woman and her daughter as dogs. They were Gentiles, not of the Jewish race. In almost all Old Testament passages. Dogs were associated with uncleanness because they ate garbage, carrion, and corpses. In the rabbinic tradition 'dog' remained a term of reproach, referring to 'the most despicable, insolent, and miserable of creatures.' It was in this opprobrious sense that 'dog' was applied to Gentiles. The metaphor was common and varied in rabbinic speech, a fit description in the minds of Jews for Gentiles who were regarded as ignorant, godless, and pagan idolaters.

    Jesus ignored her and her pleas for pity and help. It got so bad that the disciples came and urged Him to send her away, because she was such a bother. Some view it as likely that implicit in their words was a request to give her what she wanted. The disciples wanted to be rid of the woman and her embarrassing noise, but there is no indication that they did not want her daughter to be healed. This is supported by the fact that the disciples had never seen Jesus turn away anyone genuinely seeking his help; they would not have expected him to do it now."

    But Jesus does not respond as they expect. He refuses to help and said,

    "I was sent

    only to the lost sheep of Israel."

    The woman was pitiful and her plight was great. But Jesus said that His mission was not to her. He refused to help.

    At this point the woman gets even more desperate and comes and knells before Jesus. She pleads with Him. But Jesus remains adamant. Literally, He says that it would not be 'good' to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.

    He is deadly serious. In light of His mission to the Jews, He says it would not be right for Him to hear her. If Jesus was smiling and saying this in a gentle manner the woman's faith would not have been that remarkable. Her faith was great—firm in the face of very discouraging circumstances. It was because her faith was so great that Jesus finally granted her request.

    Why was Jesus so unresponsive? Why was He so insulting to the woman and her daughter? I believe one of the reasons was that He was showing that none of us has a right to God's love and compassion. Jesus treatment of her also dramatically shows that she had no right to His love.

    Christianity is about grace, about mercy, about God bestowing His love and compassion on those who are unworthy. No sinner has a right or a claim to His love. This is true of the Israelites as well. The first three chapters of Romans shows us that Jews and Gentiles are all sinners and that none of us, in ourselves, have a right to God's love.

    This woman was a sinner, like the rest of us, unworthy of God's love.

    3. Jesus is overflowing with love and compassion.

    He helped this woman in spite of the fact that she had nothing to commend herself to Him. She was not an Israelite. She had the most against her from a Jewish perspective. She was a woman, a Greek Gentile, from infamous pagans of Syrian Phoenicia. In a way you could say that He was not sent to her. Yet He granted her request. He healed her daughter.

    Take it to heart, be assured if you go to Him in faith He will accept you.

    4. Persistence

    In spite of His ignoring her, in spite of His telling them that He was not sent to her, in spite of His telling her that it would not be good to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs—she knew that He was the only One who could help her.

    Thus she would go nowhere else. She persisted. She knew about Jesus' power, she knew about His goodness—so she put all her hope in Him. In the end was her hope disappointed? No.

    5. Timing and patience.

    Put yourself in her situation. She wanted immediate relief for her daughter. But for awhile she was unsure it was going to come. If someone with a little theological knowledge was there perhaps he would have told her that she had to wait another year or two until the disciples would be sent to the Gentiles. But Jesus healed her daughter right then and there.

    But very often, those who have faith in Jesus have to be patient and wait for God's timing for the fulfillment of His promise, for His deliverance and relief.

    Consider Abraham. He was promised that his children would be like the stars of heaven in number. But for years he was childless, until Sarah was well past childbearing age.

    Consider Jairus. His daughter was dying. He went to Jesus and told Him about it. Jesus agreed to go with him to his daughter. But as they were going the crowd pressed against Jesus, and, a woman who was subject to bleeding secretly touched Jesus' cloak and was healed. Jesus immediately stopped and asked who touched him. There was a commotion and a delay with Jesus asking who had touched him. Can you imagine how Jairus must have felt? If I was him I would have been very impatient, saying,

    "Let's get going. It really doesn't matter who touched you. My daughter needs you now."

    But Jesus delayed until the woman came forward and owned up to what she had done. Just then a messenger came and informed Jairus that his daughter had died. What do you think Jairus thought of God's timing then?

    Consider Lazarus. He was sick. Jesus heard about it. Yet after He heard He waited two days before He started out. When He arrived there, Lazarus was already dead. Both Mary and Martha said to Him, (John 11:21,32)

    "Lord, if you had been here,

    my brother would not have died."

    God's ways are often mysterious. But in every case, Abraham, Jairus, Lazarus—their hope in God, in Jesus—was not disappointed. Christians, trust God. Trust Him implicitly, completely, exclusively. Be persistent in prayer. Be hopeful in affliction. Jesus will make everything right.

    A sermon from:


  • 1 decade ago

    (Mark 7:27) But he began by saying to her: “First let the children be satisfied, for it is not right to take the bread of the children and throw it to the little dogs.”

    New World Translation

    It meant that the Jews were God's people , his children. The Gentiles were dogs in that they did not worship the True God Jehovah.

    Jesus was first sent to reconcile the Jews back to God.

    So first the Jews had to be satisfied and if they refused then the Gentiles would get the spiritual food.

    They killed God's son and that is why the whole world now has the opportunity to gain eternal life because they are getting the spiritual food that the Jews refused..

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    I know some of you folks are going to get a bit tweaked at me but I think this is a perfect example of why KJV is not always the best translation to use. Back in 1611, for colloquial or historical reasons "meet" meant "right" as opposed to wrong. Christ was saying "It's not right to feed animals (Gentiles) before you feed your own children (Israelites)." This might very well have been an attempt by Jesus to ask the woman to search inside herself for something that was worthy of receiving Truth. Peace, Bill

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Mark 7:27 Let the children first be filled, shows that there was mercy for the Gentiles, and not far off. She spoke, not as making light of the mercy, but magnifying the abundance of miraculous cures among the Jews, in comparison with which a single cure was but as a crumb. Thus, while proud Pharisees are left by the blessed Saviour, he manifests his compassion to poor humbled sinners, who look to him for children's bread. He still goes about to seek and save the lost.

    Dog here signifies a little dog, and he uses this term that he may seem to speak more reproachfully. In the next verse Mark 7:28 the woman replies "Yet the dogs under the table are allowed to eat of the children's crumbs"- or the droppings from their master's full table. "Give me that, and I am content" she says. Jesus said back to her, "Because you have said this, go! The demon has left your daughter." (vs 7:29). Oh, what lightning quickness, what reach of instinctive ingenuity, do we behold in this heathen woman! The least of Christ is precious to a believer, even the very crumbs of the Bread of life. (See also Matthew 15:25-28)

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  • ton
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Feed The Childrens

  • Moi
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    If your children are starving then you are not going to give what little food you have to the dogs are you?

    In this allegory, the "children" were God's chosen Hebrews and the "dogs" were the rebellious Gentiles. Jesus was saying that he would not give HIs "food" (salvation) to the dogs (Gentiles). he would instead give it to His children (the Hebrews).

    But thank God all that since changed. Praise Him with me. I am a Gentile!

  • Jesus was a Jew, and the Jews of the time looked at Gentiles as being unclean. "Dogs" and "pigs" were considered unclean animals and the Jews of the time applied those words to Gentiles. So when Jesus was saying that it was not meet to cast the children's bread to the dogs, he was saying it was not proper to give to the Gentiles the message of god that was meant for the children of Israel.

    A similar usage of the terms is found in his statement "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces."

    He also said, ""I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel," which confirms that the message he was giving was meant only for his fellow Jews.

    Again, he was saying not to give the message of god to the Gentiles, for they would only turn and attack you for it.

    The message was that god would overturn the established order and would establish a new kingdom, the kingdom of righteousness. He knew that the Gentiles, particularly the Romans, would not take favorably to that message.

    The Sadducees, who were the temple priests, realized full well what would happen if Jesus continued to expound what he was saying, and they expressed it quite well in John 11:48.

    "If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."

    The Sadducees held their position at the whim of the Roman authorities, so they were concerned that what Jesus was proclaiming would cause the people to rebel and bring the Romans down on their nation and their position. They therefore turned Jesus over to the Romans to preserve their station in life.

    So, as it turned out, Jesus was quite right about what would happen if the Gentiles learned of his message. The Romans crucified him because they felt he was fomenting rebellion.

    But, as it also turned out, he was right in another way. Paul came along, mixed up the teachings of Jesus with a bunch of esoteric ideas, and gave the message to the Gentiles, and in so doing created the Christian religion. And Christians since that time have turned and persecuted the Jews.

  • 5 years ago

    I think Jesus meant that faith is what qualifies gentiles to be children of God not foreigners in the kingdom of God

  • 1 decade ago

    He means the Israelites who were the last son of Abraham ( Isaac's children ) must be preached to first and afterwards he will feed the Gentiles who are the first son of Abraham. ( Ishmael's chlidren )

    John 10:16

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

    Other sheep are the Gentiles ( Ishmael )

    Matthew 19:30

    But many that are FIRST shall be LAST; and the LAST shall be FIRST.

    So Ishmael who was FIRST is now LAST and Isaac who was LAST is now FIRST to be blessed or fed of the Messiah.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Jesus was saying it is not proper to take the good things of God, which children need, and then throw those things away, to the dogs so to speak. We are not to throw around God's Word indiscriminately, for in His Word we have life and hope and healing and salvation. There are those children who will accept it willingly, and there are those who will reject it, the dogs He speaks about.

  • 4 years ago

    All it does, is that Jesus, just like his supposed father was an ego-maniac who thrived on people groveling before hi. This is why many people reject Christianity, Jesus makes much of respect and love, but here, as in many other places he shows a great lack of it.

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