Every chapter of the Bible is important, but you know what they say about all persons being born equal: “Some are equaler than others.” So also with the Bible. Some chapters are more important than others, though all are important. Matthew 16 is one of these “more important” chapters. It is the central chapter in Matthew’s account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Or to put it another way, it is the high point in Jesus’ teaching and the disciples’ growth in spiritual understanding.
In Matthew 15 the story of Jesus’ response to the Canaanite woman is followed by an account of His feeding of four thousand people near the Sea of Galilee, much as He had fed a somewhat larger group earlier. What are we to make of this story?
It is not only Jesus’ silence that seems to be a problem in Matthew 15. It is also the words He used when He spoke to the woman. His first words were, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel,” and He followed that “politically incorrect” statement with the explanation, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”