When Jesus first came to the earth to minister, he wasn’t sent to help you and me. Those of us who are not Jews. Jesus’ mission is best described by this verse in Matthew.

He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

Matthew 15:24 (NIV)

This is Jesus’ response to the Canaanite woman who wanted Jesus to heal her demon-possessed daughter. Jesus’ response might seem harsh to us, especially in light of the centurion we just read about in Matthew 8:10, who asked that Jesus heal his servant. We could ask the question, why did Jesus help the Gentile centurion and not this Canaanite woman, Who is also a Gentile?

Five reasons come to mind as to why Jesus wasn’t going to help the Canaanite woman. We’ve already discussed the first. Jesus was sent to help the Jews first. Many places in Scripture confirm Jesus was sent to the Jews first, but I’m only going to point out this verse.

When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”

Acts 3:26 (NIV)

This is what Peter tells the crowd of Israelites who gathered to listen to him after healing the lame beggar. 

The next reason is that it would anger the Jews. If Jesus stopped ministering to the Jews or divided his ministry up between them and the Gentiles, he would have been hated, not just by the Jewish leadership but by all the Jews. 

Now, when we consider the centurion’s case, we’re not comparing apples to apples. Rather the centurion was a special case because the Jews were favorably disposed to him. 

When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” So Jesus went with them.

Luke 7:4-6 (NIV)

Therefore, helping the centurion, even though he was a Gentile, actually promoted His ministry. 

The Canaanite woman, on the other hand, was a Canaanite. People who were hated by the Jews and under God’s curse, as we see from this verse in Genesis. 

He said, “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.”

Genesis 9:25 (NIV)

The last and best reason I think is that it wasn’t the right time as evidenced by this passage from John.

20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.

23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

John 12:20-24 (NIV)

When these Greeks came to see Jesus, we don’t see him refuse to see them. Instead, we see Him talk about what needs to be done. The time has come for Him to be glorified. Without a doubt, Jesus could have gone and spoken to the Greeks. Perhaps He might have preached to them and gone off to other Gentile lands. However, his job wasn’t to preach to them. In verse 24, Jesus talks about the single seed and the many seeds. Jesus is the single seed, and you and me, my brothers and sisters. We are the many seeds that are here to tell others about Jesus. 

This is what we need to take away from Matthew 15:24. Even our Lord and Savior operated not at his time, but at the time of our Father. Therefore, if our Lord submitted to him and, indeed, to death on a cross, then how much more ought we to submit and welcome God’s timing in our lives? His perfect and unerring timing?

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be free from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away. 

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.