Summary: This is a hot topic for many people around the world today; the refugee crisis. What do we do when mostly non-Christians use Matthew chapter 2 and say “Jesus was a refugee, wouldn’t you help Him?”
This is a hot topic for many people around the world today; the refugee crisis. What do we do when mostly non-Christians use Matthew chapter 2 and say “Jesus was a refugee, wouldn’t you help Him?” Well let’s take a look at Matthew 2 and try to put things in perspective and context with the world today. Matthew 2:13-17: “Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” 14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” 16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: “A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
How do we in this day and age as Christians handle the situation with the refugee crisis going on in the world? ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, and other Muslim radicals are killing and persecuting millions of people around the middle east and Africa. People are fleeing for their lives and what should we as the world do about it? What does the bible say and how can we apply it to today and the much different issues that come with refugees in 2016? First off we must have compassion and look at it from their perspective. Many are afraid, tired, hungry, uncertain they will live through the day. But we also have to see the wolves in sheep’s clothing, the tares among the wheat. So, what does scripture say? “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” (Leviticus 19:33-34)
Romans 12:20: “To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” But, Scripture also says: Luke 22:36: “He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.” What about the Ten Commandments? I will get to those later…
David French of National Review says, “Is Jesus telling America to open its borders? To read the secular, liberal and religious Left — and to hear President Obama speak — you’d think that American Christians who argue against welcoming Syrian migrants to our shores are hateful, bigoted hypocrites ignoring clear scriptural imperatives of openness and compassion. In reality, however, Christians who urge that we care for Syrian refugees abroad rather than here at home are responding wisely to national leaders who’ve failed in their own God-ordained duties. We can be compassionate from afar, and we’d be wise to do so.” Our government is supposed to protect us, not let us be destroyed from within.
Would God have allowed the foreigner or refugee to worship a false God or Allah in the midst of the Israelites? Of course not, but the compassion and the help of the Jews would show them the love of the True God of Israel. We can show Jesus to those displaced. Those who point to a supposed Christian or western culture obligation to take these refugees into this country ignore several things. First, the situation now is much different than it was in Biblical times. Back then people didn't have access to explosives and weapons that could cause mass casualties. They also did not practice Sharia law because Islam was not invented yet. They did not have the mindset of doing any and everything to dominate the world with a religion. Since they didn't have weapons control laws back then, a significant proportion of the population had self-defense capabilities. For example, Jesus' advice to his apostles, "…whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. " (Luke 23:36) Jesus told us to protect ourselves and our families.
Second, many individual passages in the Bible are taken out of context by non-Christians to try to guilt trip true believers. They may apply in some circumstances and not in others. For example, Jesus told us to turn the other cheek in the Sermon on the Mount. That is very good advice and probably should be considered as the first option in many situations. On the other hand, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas both noted that Jesus and the apostle Paul spoke out against, rather than passively accepting being hit. John 18:22-23: “Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing. 21 Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed, they know what I said.” 22 And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, “Do You answer the high priest like that?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?”