Non-Denominational/was Jesus racist?


Hi Don,
thank you for reading this! I have been born again since the age of 15, I love God and I love Jesus with all my heart and I am the singer of a somewhat well known Christian rock band and speak at many churches and parks and try to spread the word of God's love to everyone I can. All this being said, something has bothered me most of my adult life and I can't shake it no matter how I try to push it away and ignore it. I've sought help and answers from people I know but never got a good answer, I'm really hoping you can help me. I am almost ashamed to even ask this question because I know Jesus is the Son of God and is my ultimate role model but what troubles me is one story from the gospels, I have read the bible the whole way through several times but keep getting stuck on this one part. The story where the Gentile woman asks Jesus to heal her child and Jesus says it wouldn't be right to give food to the 'dogs'. She only gets help when she refers to herself and her child as 'dogs' by saying 'but even the dogs eat from the scraps the master drops'. Wow! I realize in the time Jesus lived the Jewish people were very racist in general and thought anyone non-Jewish was not only lesser than them but were even less than human, but Jesus tried to set an example for everyone. In modern examples, that would be like me being a white person refusing to heal someone who was Asian or Black, or Hispanic simply because of their race, but even worse referring to them as a 'dog'. I would never think to do that to anyone, I am just shocked that Jesus, my role model, would refer to someone of a different race as a 'dog', The story was told in several accounts, so it's hard to believe it was just mis-heard. Jesus healed the woman's child and then said to His disciples that "if I can learn, so can you". So that implies to me that He truly believed that anyone of a different race was not worthy of healing. This breaks my heart, as I have truly believed all my life God and Jesus love us all and not just the Jewish race. Please help me with an answer. I want to love Jesus and God with all my heart in the proper way and I just really struggle with this one thing.
Thank you so much!
God bless you! Sincerely, Bill

Hi Bill,

Thanks for this great question.  I sure can understand why this would bother you if you for one minute believed that Jesus might be a racist.  Let me start by saying... no He is not a racist.  In fact if you study John 4 you will see that Jesus reached out to a Samaritan woman... the Samaritans were hated by the Jews... they would go around Samaria... but He went there on purpose... met with her... gave her the Gospel... and won many in the city to Himself... so no He is not a racist... so let us see what is going on here with the dog thing...

Matthew 15:22–28 (AV)
22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. 27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. 28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

This is a lesson on how to plead for the blessing of God.  The term dog was not a racial term but a religious one.  The Jews had the truth of the word of God and the Gentiles did not... they were seen as dogs or barbarians because they did not worship the one true God.  Let us consider what she did:

1.  Worshipped Him as Messiah
2.  Cried for mercy
3.  Knew Jesus was her only hope...
4.  notice that the disciples wanted to send her away... Jesus didn't  ... He was putting her faith on display to teach everyone what true humility looked like... most of us would be offended and leave at this point... but she was a true believer and was not going anywhere

5.  He was sent to the Lost sheep of Israel... He said that in the ears of the Jews who were rejecting Him... He was going to use her faith to rebuke the unbelief of the Jews He was sent to reach.... the Jews in the audience saw her as a dog... He did not call her a dog...
6.  In humility she realized that religously she was a dog... she had no merit on her own and just begged for table scraps...

7.  It was that humility and faith that Jesus not only rewarded by giving her deliverance... but also memorialized her story in the Gospel forever... He loved her... He delivered Her... he set her on display as a humble seeker.... He did not hate her because of her race.

BTW... I am an unknown Christian Song writer and would love some advice as to how to get my songs out there or get our little band noticed... my e-mail is if you have any advice for me.  We have a blues/ southern/classic rock sound.  

I hope that this helps you.

In Christ
Pastor Don


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Pastor Don Carpenter


I am an expert in the Bible. I can answer any question concerning beliefs that are based upon the presupposition that the Bible is the Word of God. I have been a volunteer on this site since 2003. I wish to add this category in order to help those who believe the Bible, but have not chosen a denomination.


I have been in the ministry for 25 years. During this time I served as youth pastor, assistant pastor, counselor, and Senior Pastor. Currently I serve as a Senior Pastor for an independent fundamental Baptist Church in New England. I am also a professor teaching night College at New England School of the Bible.

Evangelical Baptist Church New England School of the Bible

BS in Bible and Pastoral ministries from Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit PA. Church Planter - 4 years Senior Pastor of Evangelical Baptist Church in Torrington CT - 10 years Professor at New England School of the Bible - 5 years Local Cable TV talk show host - 4 years.

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