‘Whole Bible Christianity,’ chapter 10, ‘Our True Identity’
In Matthew 15:21-28 Jesus resists a little bit giving help to a Gentile woman (a Syrophoenician is a Canaanite) asking for healing for her daughter. He tells her it’s not right to give the bread of children to dogs. She has an amazing response, saying that even dogs get crumbs from the table. Jesus is so impressed with her faith He heals her daughter. Her faith was shown by her humble submission and obedience.
At first it might seem off-putting that Jesus would regard her (or me) as a dog. But I think this was more of a statement of where He was focusing His work at that time (“to the Jew first and also to the Gentile”) rather than a judgment against either the lady or me. Although Canaanites were historically pretty ‘doggy’ too (Ephesians 2:12, Hebrews 11:6). Those who by nature do what God requires, even if non-Jewish, belong to Him because of their faith, and aren’t dogs at all. But even if it’s true that my identity (in the eyes of some) is that of a dog in the kingdom, I’m okay with it. He made me and can assign me any place He chooses. I’d much rather be a dog in heaven than a lion in hell.