Startled in the middle of the night, Joseph sat up and thought about what the angel just told him in the dream. The angel said, “Get up! Take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child and kill him.” (Matthew 2:13)
“Was this a dream or a nightmare?,” Joseph probably thought to himself as he woke his young bride, Mary. She needed to pack her belongings and flee with their boy, Jesus. Mary was struck with panic and fear. They could hear the wailing of women as children were being slaughtered across Judea. It was a horrific night for everyone, but they didn’t have time to process the situation. They needed to flee to Egypt as fast as they could. Their Son, Jesus, was about to be killed by a ruthless man if they didn’t act fast. Adrenaline propelled them to run fast. Fear drove them to run in dark areas where they could not be seen by the soldiers. Jesus and His parents were refugees!
We often read the familiar passages without considering the emotions and thoughts of biblical characters. What did Joseph think when he saw the angel in his dreams? Did he wake up with a panic attack? How did Mary feel when her husband told her that her baby boy was about to be killed by Herod? Running for your life is a very traumatic situation.
Today, we have over a million people who are refugees around the world. The Unites States welcomes close to 70,000 refugees each year. These people come to the United Stated traumatized, They have lost everything!
People often ask me who is a refugee. It is someone who has fled their country because of persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion or social group membership. They come from all parts of world. They come to find refuge and begin their lives again. But is it not easy.
As believers in Christ, we need to see them from a different perspective. We need to see that God has brought them to us so we can minister to them. In the coming days, I’ll share with you how they come to the United States and how we can reach out to them. Today, I want to just share with you how Jesus was a refugee. I pray God will open our hearts to the nations next door!