“Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Matthew 8:20
We are stardust; we are golden And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden – Joni Mitchell
After the news about Pam Mark Hall being temporarily displaced from her home in Oroville (she’s home now, thank God, but not totally out of danger, so keep praying for that damn dam to hold), it got me thinking about refugees in the Bible; and when you start thinking about it, it’s hard to find anyone who was not, at least at one time, a refugee.
You’ve got the children of Israel numerous times — it was always their fault, but it still happened. Most of the prophets were homeless. I suppose you could say that Adam and Eve — thus all of us — are refugees from the garden, and that’s not a joke. We’ve been displaced from the beginning, and we’ve been looking for our home ever since. Larry Norman was only visiting this planet; he’s back home now.
But for the clearest example of a refugee in the New Testament you need go no further than Jesus, who, though He grew up in a home in Nazareth, left there when He started His ministry and never looked back. He and His disciples were vagabonds by all rights. You never hear of them getting together to study the Torah at Jesus’s place.
The Bible says that He left His throne and came as a refugee to the human race. He had a home in heaven but He left it to come to us. He was a refugee of God who came to identify with us, and His identification was with the lowest of the low.
Why? Because He wanted to remind everyone that His kingdom was not of this world. Had He come in earthy power and glory He would have sown confusion and forced His kingdom to vie with worldly, earthly kingdoms for power, but that was never His intent. His kingdom was and is on an entirely different level.
I think that He also identified with the refugee because of empathy. He wanted to understand what it was like to be the lowest, because these were His kind of people. He was going to make a kingdom out of these folks. (We have to realize, when we see the homeless and the refugee, that these people are closer to the kingdom of God than most of us are.)
The Pharisees rarely invited Jesus over because of the crowd that came with Him. They were embarrassed by these people (like we might have been); Jesus was right at home. His will has always been to lift up the lowly and bring down the proud. He’s building His kingdom and it is not of this world. We may need to adjust some thinking, because the kingdom of God is made up of refugees.