Jesus invites people into a relationship with Him. He invites them in close. Jesus could smell the disease on the lepers and was close enough to get spit at from possessed man. He wasn’t afraid to share an intimate space with those that the society of His time viewed as outcasts, villains, sinners and those who people forgot about.
We are coming to this point here in our world today. Where we can choose to bring people in, care for them, love them and point them towards Jesus; or we can choose to turn people away, shun them, treat them as villains and abandon them.
Matthew 11:28 came to mind as I reflected on the last few days. I have heard a man, speaking on behalf of a faith, alienating another group of people. Matthew 11:28 says “Come to Me, ALL who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Over and over again Jesus invites all people in. The Good Samaritan would’ve been despised by the man he saved, yet he had compassion. Romans, a people group not too friendly with the Jews, would come to Jesus. In fact, Jesus commends a centurion for his faith.
We are blurring the lines of faith and politics. Faith always trumps politics. They are not the same. Sometimes, they agree and sometimes they disagree, but they are not the same. We contradict our faith and our beliefs with how we act. Our actions then are what seems best to us at the time, not led by our relationship with Jesus. I think it fitting that a plaque on the Statue of Liberty, a sight millions of immigrants would see coming to America, says this “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Jesus would say the same thing.
My wife said something the other day and I loved it. She said “I don’t want someone in the name of my Savior, of my faith, to give me favor, or blessing, and take away freedom, opportunity, safety, compassion from someone else. That is not what a christian does. It’s not how Jesus would have it.”
Remember, Jesus invited everyone to come to Him. He invites us still. As Misfits we see this. We see that the lines are blurred and many are asking questions. In these moment, push into Jesus. Ask for understanding and for words in the midst of heated discussion. Use your influence and your talents to point all people towards Jesus. Demonstrate care, compassion and humility. Open the doors for the weary, the oppressed, the burdened, the refugees and point them to Jesus.
Here is a link to some thoughts on how to treat refugees and immigrants from Relevant Magazine.