And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
And desiring to be fed with the crumbs,.... The offal food, broken bread, fragments of meat: that food which falls from the knife, or plate, in eating, and from thence on the ground; and literally understood, may express the low condition Christ was in, in his human nature: he assumed a true body, like to ours, and partook of the same flesh and blood with us, and was liable to the same infirmities as ours, which are sinless; and among the rest, was subject to hunger and thirst, and was obliged to the ministration of others for a subsistence: and it may also express his contentment in such a condition; he never murmured at the providence of God, but was entirely, resigned to his will; he did not desire to live in fulness and affluence, but avoided and shunned every step that led unto it; nor did he envy the plenty of others, and was fully satisfied with his meanness; nor did he ever work a miracle for the sake of feeding himself. Moreover, the words being understood mystically, may design the elect of God among the Jews, who, like crumbs, were few in number, a seed, a remnant, according to the election of grace; there were but few among them that were chosen of God, and effectually called by his grace; and but a little flock to whom he gave the kingdom; and a small number, who entered in at the strait gate, and were saved; and these few were very mean and despicable for their outward poverty; for the poor had the Gospel preached to them, and they received it, when the rich, and the rulers of the people, rejected it: and they were like crumbs their small degree of worldly wisdom and knowledge, being babes, simple, and foolish, who followed Christ, while the learned, wise, and prudent despised him; and for their sinfulness and vileness, being, generally speaking, notorious sinners, publicans and harlots; and of these it may be said what follows,
which fell from the rich man's table; being originally of the Jews, but separated from them by the grace of God, and rejected by them with scorn and contempt. These Christ "desired"; see Song of Solomon 7:10 his desire was towards them from everlasting, when he asked them of his Father, and they were given to him; and it was not only after their persons, but after their salvation, and that both in eternity and in time; and which he signified by various words and actions; and it is towards them, while in a state of unregeneracy, that they may be converted, and believe in him; and when they are called, he delights in the grace he puts in them, and in the righteousness he puts upon them; he takes pleasure in their company; he desires them for his habitation; he stands at the door and knocks for admission to them; and nothing is he more earnestly solicitous for, and eager after, than their being with him in glory to all eternity; and his end in all, "is to be fed" or "satisfied with them"; see Isaiah 53:11 he came into the world to gather these scattered crumbs and fragments together; it was his meat and drink, to work out their salvation; and it will be his highest joy and pleasure to present them to his Father, and himself, complete and perfect, and introduce them into his kingdom and glory: he will be fully satisfied in them, and they in him, when they shall awake in his likeness. Then will all Christ's desires, prayers, and intercessions, have their full accomplishment. The Vulgate Latin adds, "and no man gave to him"; which seems to be transcribed from
Luke 15:16 and is not supported by any copy or version.
Moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores: by the dogs are meant not the Jews, though they are sometimes so called, and especially the Scribes and Pharisees, Psalms 22:16 for these made his sores and wounds, or were the authors of his sorrows and sufferings; but rather the Gentiles, who were so called by the Jews; See Gill on "Matthew 15:26" because these creatures were unclean by the law, and had in the greatest contempt by the Jews; and for their barbarity, malice, and cruelty,
Deuteronomy 23:18 as the Gentiles were by the Jews esteemed unclean and unfit, either for civil or religious conversation; and were treated as aliens by them; and were indeed in their Heathenish state, barbarous and inhuman, and lived in malice, hateful, and hating one another: these, some of them came to Christ in person, as the centurion, and Syrophenician woman, many of the Samaritans, who, with the Jews, were all one as Heathens, and several Grecians at the feast; and many of them also came to him by faith, through the ministry of his servants, under the influence of divine grace, and that according to various prophecies in the Old Testament, concerning the calling and gathering of the Gentiles to him: these embraced a crucified Christ; and fed upon the slain Lamb of God; eat his flesh, and drank his blood; stretched forth the hand of faith, and thrust it into his bleeding wounds; and lived by faith on him, who was wounded and bruised for their sins, and whose blood was shed for the remission of them.