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Bible Questions with Michael Pearl
Episode 035: Is Jesus racist because he called a Canaanite woman a dog?

By Michael Pearl

Episode Transcription:

Michael Pearl: All right. We are out here cleaning this 41 pounds buffalo, caught out of the Tennessee River, with a bow and arrow, by the way. That's a lot easier than catching them on a hook.

You ever seen a scale that big? You could use that for a paint scraper. You're asking the questions. Jared's got them there and going to read them to us.

I'm going to try to answer your Bible questions. I've not seen any of these questions. So, it's a lot easier on me not have to prepare for it. Just go fishing. Then, come in and answer your questions.

By the way, have you ever cleaned a big old buffalo? Cut out that dark meat. I'm going right down the center here, where that joint is. Same thing with a carp.

Turn it over and cut out that strip of dark meat that you see run right down the center. Right there. It makes it a lot better. What's your first question, there, Jared?

Jared:  Is Jesus a racist, because he called a Canaanite woman a dog in Matthew 15:26? Could you please explain the use of the word dog?

Michael: In the Bible, dogs represent unbelievers. To a Jew, a dog is an unclean animal, obviously. So, when you call someone a dog, like we would today, they're a dog.

So, Jesus was speaking appropriately, for his day and age, from the perspective of a Jew, but he was also speaking from God's perspective. You know what the Bible actually calls all of us? It calls us worms.

He says the Jews were a generation of vipers. He said that religious leaders were like dead mans tombs: white washed on the outside but inside full of corruption.

Now, that's a pretty sick thing to call somebody. Like I said, he called Jews "Son of Perdition". So, calling him a dog was a pretty good term, relative to those others. Why?

Because we sing a song in church, concerning Christ died for such a worm as I. "At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light. For He died for such a worm as I".

In fact, when Jesus was hanging on the cross, as recorded in Psalm 22, He was praying to God, and He said of himself, "I am worm in no man".

So, calling her a dog was a little matter. When you understand the centralness of the human race, when you see the depravity, you realize that there is no low name that we don't deserve.

Now, in terms of the ethnocentrism of that question, in other words, was he preferring one race over another? Absolutely. The Bible tells us there in Romans Chapter 9, 10, and 11 that God chose the Jewish race, that he loved them.

He gives an illustration, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. God has a right, he said, as a potter to prefer one pot over another one. He said he makes them both.

He makes one to glory and honor. He makes one to fitted for destruction. So, when God sees the gentiles worshiping, as the Samaritans did, false gods, sees them engaged in idolatry, to call them a dog is not at all degrading, because that is the way they conducted themselves.

You remember the time, in Genesis Chapter 6, when God came down to view the human race? He said, "All flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth, it repented me that I made man I'll destroy whom I created from off the face of the earth".

God destroyed every soul, except the eight that were on the boat with Noah, because he said that Noah was perfect in his generations and the others were not.

Ethnocentrism for the sake of the ethnic group would be central. It would be pride on the person who relegates another race or ethnic group to some lower status, but, when God views the Jewish people, as his preferred people for the sake of bringing the Messiah into the world, he has a right to do that.

Now, he told them, at another place. He said, "I didn't choose you, because you are greater in number or more mighty,” not because they are more worthy. He said, "Because you're not".

He said, "I chose you that I might make my name known among you". So, God has a right to choose. He has a right to...
That's a nice piece of fish, there. Isn't it? That's just a part of that. I'm going to get four or five meals out of that. God has a right to choose whom he will and love whom he chooses to love.

So, I would never second guess him, and say, "Hey, you have no right to prefer the Jewish people over the gentiles". But, we found an interesting thing in chapter 9 and chapter 11 of Romans is that 'God, after that date set aside the Jews' and chose the gentiles.

Today, we live in a dispensation, when God is giving preferential grace to the gentiles, but he said, "Watch out, one day, he will set aside the gentiles, and he'll, once again, choose the Jewish people and do his work through them".

Announcer:  If you would like to ask a Bible question, email us at [email protected] or call at 931‑805‑4820.

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