Jesus went to another town and tried to keep where he was staying a secret, but a Gentile woman found him and begged him to heal her daughter. “Gentile” is a word that refers to people who are not of Jewish faith.
Jesus told the woman that he came to minister to the people of the Jewish faith and that he needed to take care of those people first. The woman’s response was that even the dogs were able to eat the crumbs from under the table.
Jesus praised her good answer of faith and healed her daughter.
You can read the full passage below:
24 Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre.[a] He didn’t want anyone to know which house he was staying in, but he couldn’t keep it a secret. 25 Right away a woman who had heard about him came and fell at his feet. Her little girl was possessed by an evil[b]spirit, 26 and she begged him to cast out the demon from her daughter.
Since she was a Gentile, born in Syrian Phoenicia, 27 Jesus told her,“First I should feed the children—my own family, the Jews.[c] It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”
28 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children’s plates.”
29 “Good answer!” he said. “Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And when she arrived home, she found her little girl lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone.
–Mark 7:24-30 (NLT)
Jesus first response to the lady seems harsh, but he healed her because of her faith. The people of this woman’s nationality worshiped idols, an act that is detestable to God. Also, keep in mind that Jesus was never caught by surprise. Her response was a powerful example of faith as she was able to use the word “dog” to show her confidence that Jesus could heal her daughter.