People are prone to pecking orders. We love the high horse. They did in the first century. An impassable gulf yawned between Jews and Gentiles in the days of the early church. No Jew would have anything to do with a Gentile—they were unclean. Unless that Jew, of course, was Jesus.
Suspicions of a new order began to surface because of his curious conversation with the Canaanite woman. Her daughter was dying, and her prayer was urgent. Yet her ancestry was Gentile. “I was only sent to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel,” Jesus told her. “That’s true,” she replied, but even the dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their master’s table” (Matthew 15:24, 27). So Jesus healed the daughter, and he made his position clear. He was more concerned about bringing everyone in than shutting certain people out.