Immigration is a hot topic these days. It seems that one side is screaming for everyone to be allowed in while the other side is yelling for closed borders. And, truth be told, it doesn’t seem like anyone is asking what did Jesus say about immigrants. Instead, they all just seem to pushing some sort of agenda to check an item off their list. For most, this is a divisive and obnoxious way of thinking, making it so you don’t even want to turn on the news to find out what the weather is for the day. Hitting pretty close to home?
So, what did Jesus say about immigrants? Turns out, Jesus says a lot. The actual term “immigrant” isn’t used very often (if it all), though. Instead, you’ll find that people are referred to as “strangers” or “sojourners.” If you decide to search the Bible on your own (something we highly advocate for!), keep those terms in the back of your mind to help you learn best.
Here are some verses that speak to what Jesus said about immigrants:
- “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. “ – Matthew 25:35
- “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” – Romans 13:1-2
- “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels.” – Hebrews 13:2
- “The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.” – Psalm 146: 9
It appears that what did Jesus say about immigrants can be summed up in two words: show love. Jesus repeatedly references caring for strangers, widows and the fatherless. He asks us to make sure that they have enough to eat and drink and a safe place to stay. In some verses, Jesus even commands that travelers stay with us in our homes.
The next time you see an immigrant family, consider asking yourself how you can care for them. Do they need food? What about directions? Help finding a new place of worship? Ask how you can help, and you may find that you’ve forged and unforgettable friendship.