The Refugee

refugee

The life of Jesus contained some very high drama indeed, right from his very infancy. Being born in a cave, laid down in a manger, fulfilling prophecy and sparking thousand mile journeys. Just coming into the world was dramatic.
The drama continues as the wise men have left to return to their homes – “And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.” Matthew‬ ‭2:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬. The magi were somehow warned King Herod planned evil for the Messiah, the prophesied King to come, and how right they were.

escape
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Notice the Angel refers to Jesus in speaking to Joseph as simply “the child”, not “your son”. So, Joseph is called to carry the baby Jesus and his mother off to Egypt, which has such a long history as it relates to the Jewish people. At this time, however, it is a Roman province with many Jews living there, not under the jurisdiction of Herod, so a natural place to take refuge.
So for the early life of Jesus, there began with no room at the inn, and all of Judea is unsafe for Him. Mary must have certainly been remembering the words of Simeon at the temple – “And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “(and a sword will pierce through your own soul also)…” Luke‬ ‭2:34-35‬ ‭ESV‬‬. That sword began to pierce very early, King Herod would not take word  of Israel’s prophesied King being born without a fight.

flight-into-egypt
And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” In Exodus we see the the word of the Lord – “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son, and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve me.” If you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son.'”” Exodus‬ ‭4:22-23‬ ‭ESV‬‬. Matthew is writing this to evangelize the Jews and convince them of the Messiah-ship of Jesus of Nazareth, he is tying together Jesus as the true first born of Yahweh, and Yahweh is orchestrating here the escape of His first born son so that he may serve Him. And serve He does…

baby
Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Herod is waiting impatiently for the wise men to return with word on the messiah, because he’s already determined his course of action. He is not going to allow this messiah to survive long enough to challenge for his throne. And so there was a slaughter in Bethlehem, all the young males two years and under. Herod was sure he would get Him, and so he would have except, as we see in Isaiah – “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬. The child would die a murderous death, but not here, not until He had fulfilled what the Father had sent him to do.

rachels-tomb
Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”” Rachel, the beloved wife of Jacob, is buried in Bethlehem. Her tomb still stands there. The words written in Jeremiah refer directly to the Babylonian captivity of Israel. Her tomb has a sepulchre on it depicting a double lament for the loss of her children – first in captivity, now in this bloody death. Babies sacrificed by an earthly King protecting a throne that was always fading away. The target of the execution escaping to his own exile, that he would return to his own eventual execution as the sacrifice that would rescue these babies from a worse fate than they endure even in this mass execution. They took the rage in His place so that He could eventually take the rage in their place.

refugees
And so, our savior Himself lived as a refugee, so that maybe we won’t have to live like refugees hiding and running from our own sins. He had to escape his own homeland because it simply was not safe, and flee as a foreigner for safe harbor in another land. Maybe we should remember that when we see refugees still in our own time.

 

“Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.””

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭2:13-18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/mat.2.13-18.esv

John Lewis

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2 thoughts on “The Refugee

  1. One year for Christmas, I took a picture of aborted fetuses, printed them on X-mas cards, and wrote something like: This year for Christmas I want us to recall the slaughter of the innocents, after all it is an important/integral part of Jesus story … of God coming into his world to be crowned KING.

    I think I got marked off a lot of X-mas lists after that.

    Such is part of a prophet’s wage.

    Thanx for posting this stuff.

    X

    Liked by 1 person

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