What stance would Jesus take on immigration? And what would he say to the immigrant?

Every year, 20 million people apply for a green card to the United States, and only 50,000 of them (less than 1%!) will be awarded one through a lottery system. At the same time, an estimated 500,000 people enter the country illegally.

With so many immigrants wanting the American dream, the issue of immigration isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

And you’ve heard debates about open borders or tighter borders.
You’ve heard arguments about amnesty or deportation.
You’ve maybe even researched the numbers behind the green card lottery system, trying to find a solution to the crisis.

But what Jesus says about immigrants takes the conversation out of the impersonal and makes it personal, both to you and to him. Where numbers and policies about immigration leave us angry and entrenched, the flesh and blood Jesus injects into the conversation will move you in a different way.

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https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A31-46&version=NIV

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– So what kind of stance
would Jesus have on this
whole immigration thing?
[upbeat music]
Hey everybody, it’s Chris
Paavola and welcome to
What Jesus Says About,
where Jesus speaks for himself
so you can respond for yourself
and don’t forget to hit like and subscribe
and that little bell icon
so you can stay up to date on
what Jesus says about
topics important to you.
Today we’re gonna listen in on
what Jesus says about immigrants
and Jesus is not foreign on
this idea of immigration.
In fact, just after his birth,
Jesus and his family fled as refugees
to Egypt seeking asylum
from a tyrannical king and
so for the rest of his life Jesus
often identifies with the foreigner.
Like there’s this one
time that Jesus is giving
his students an illustration
of what it means
to be one of his followers
and he tells them this
story and then he says
when I was hungry you fed me,
when I was thirsty you gave me something
to drink and when I was a
stranger you welcomed me.
Now the word that Jesus uses
for stranger is a Greek word
that also means foreigner
or alien or yep, immigrant.
And then the word that
Jesus uses for welcomed me
is the same word as like
accommodation or hospitality.
So essentially what Jesus is saying is
when I was a immigrant,
you showed me hospitality
and this confuses his students
because they’re listening to this story
and they go wait Jesus,
we’re the same nationality
as you when have you ever
been a foreigner to us?
And he stops them and he’s
like guys, guys, guys, listen-
whatever you did to the least
of these, you did to me.
Now before you give me a
thumbs up or a thumbs down
because you think I’m saying this
or that about our borders
or our immigration policy,
let me stop you right there because
for thousands of years
people have been trying
to politicize Jesus, attaching him
to their particular brand of government
or their political party
but if we hear these words from Jesus
and the first thing we
think about is how we vote,
I think we’re missing something
about Jesus’s words here.
He’s not talking to a government.
He’s talking to you.
You the one listening to these words.
You, whatever you do
to the least of these,
you do to him.
and I know personally I can debate
about politics as a way of like abdicating
and distancing myself from
personal responsibility
but Jesus strips all of that away
and just makes this intensely personal
and this raises all sorts
of interesting questions
for me but I’d actually
like to hear your answers:
How do you find the
least of these among you?
And then what are some ways you
and I can show them hospitality?
And listen, listen this is
a really important question
for us to answer because,
according to Jesus,
he’s waiting for us on the
other end of our answer.

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