Last time I wrote, my topic was the Syrian refugee event and the call to immigrate a large segment of that war displaced population. Without revisiting those thoughts, I’d like to simply add just one more.
Some have chosen to argue for immigration of Syrians because …’after all, Jesus was a refugee’. The argument goes that Jesus was displaced by violence, forced to flee hostile forces and seek safety in foreign lands. And if Jesus was just a man being bandied about by other men, then I suppose that rationale is plausible and emotionally compelling. But, is it true?.
When Jesus was introduced to the world, His name was ‘Immanuel’ which means ‘God with us’. Jesus was both God AND man with us. And as such, He could never have been a refugee. And here’s why. The scripture says of Him…
‘…I (the Lord) have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.’ Psalm 50:9-12
‘…He (the Lord Jesus) was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.’ John 1:10-11
That being so, then Jesus was not a refugee, because He was in the world He created and was sustaining by the power of His own word. He wasn’t out of control, a mere pawn, before a more powerful monarch. He wasn’t without the resources to fight back, for even a thought could have marshaled the legions of angels to destroy the world. No, He wasn’t a refugee. But, if we change just one letter in the word, we can then see the truth. Let’s change the letter ‘g’ to the letter ‘s’, for the sake of clarity. I realize that that change won’t be phonetically correct, but it will be doctrinally right. Jesus was not a refugee. He was a ‘refusee’, One that was rejected by all that was His own! What a thought…Jesus, Our Creator (Colossians 1:16), our Sustainer (Colossians 1:17), our Redeemer (Colossians 1:13) and our Comforting Hope (John 14: 1ff) coming into a hostile environment to free us from our bondage.
The issue was not that Jesus was a refugee. It was that Jesus was a ‘…despised and rejected Savior…’ Isaiah 53.
Actually, we are the ones who are being dominated by a hostile force. We are the ones with a great enemy that we cannot defeat on our own. We are the ones under hostile aggression by the enemy of our souls. And our only hope of salvation comes from the One who ‘loved us, came to us and gave Himself for us as an atonement for our sin’ in order to set us free.
If we celebrate anything related to the Syrian refugee issue, let’s not celebrate how philanthropic and benevolent we would be to welcome Syrians to America, but rather, let us celebrate our Savior Who came to rescue and deliver those who were lost. John 14:3.