We will need to look at verses 21-28 in order to understand those two verses.

Verses 21-23: “Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from the region and cried out to Him, saying, ‘Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.’ But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, ‘Send her away, for she cries out after us’” (NKJV). The significance of these verses is great, for here we see Jesus going into Gentile territory and being approached by a Canaanite woman. This may have been the only time that Jesus ever crossed Israel’s border, for as we shall see; His ministry was confined to the Jews alone. Yet here we see a desperate woman addressing Him as the “Son of David,” a Messianic title used exclusively by the Jews. In truth, she had no claim upon Israel’s Messiah and that is the reason Jesus remained silent initially and why the disciples wanted her sent away.

Verses 24-25: “But He answered and said, ‘I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Lord, help me!’” In grace, the Lord Jesus does respond to her by informing her that His mission was to bless Israel, NOT the Gentiles. But her faith and her desire to see her daughter healed moved her to cry out “Lord, help me!” Notice, she no longer called Him “Son of David,” but simply “Lord.” She must have been thinking, “If I can’t come to you on the ground of you being my Messiah, I will come to as the sovereign Lord Who can surely help His humble creature.”

Verses 26-27: “But He answered and said, ‘It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.’ And she said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table’.” Once again the Lord reminds her of her rightful place by giving her an object lesson. The “children” represent Israel, and the “little dogs” picture the Gentiles. We believe He is testing her faith, to see if she would acknowledge that she was not worthy to be blessed. Her response is priceless, for she agrees with Jesus that she isn’t worthy, but her faith compels her to plead for mercy, just as a little dog would beg for the crumbs that fall from their master’s plate.

Verse 28: “Then Jesus answered and said to her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour.” The Lord was touched by her “great faith,” a faith that was manifested in true humility, persistence, and owning Jesus as Lord. Her faith was then rewarded with an immediate healing of her daughter. (254.5) (DO)