Jesus’ Immigration Policy

I volunteer once a week at an elementary school our church adopted as a local mission project. Staff and teachers are wonderful. The kids are wonderful, pleasant and generally well-behaved.

Though the teachers, admin staff and kiddos are all wonderful, the school  (because of its location and zoning rules) serves mostly disadvantaged kids and families. A staggering 91 percent of the student population qualifies for free or reduced lunch. Most of the kids are Black (about 30%) and Latino (about 60%).

Support

Many of the kids come from single-parent families (usually mom is head of the household). The kids who do have moms and dads to go home to suffer from a lack of resources. If mom and dad are both in the house, many times mom and dad both work just to keep the lights on and put food on the table. Grandmothers, aunts and uncles are often integral parts of the parents’ support system.

For more needed support, some of the families at our school are clients at local food banks and family assistance ministries. Lots of the kids don’t have money to buy book bags (required) at the beginning of the year and other necessary school supplies.

Some Latino children’s parents left home and other family members in Mexico, Cuba, Peru and South American countries to make a better life here in the United States.  Many Latino children and their parents have not mastered English, some kids and parents barely speak it.

Needs

Given all their needs, given all their circumstances, given all the social issues they face with us Americans, such as unemployment (higher among Latinos), high gas prices, rising food costs, out-of-reach medical costs, what are we to do?

Love one another with brotherly affection as members of one family, giving precedence and showing honor to one another. Romans 12:10

They are here. They walk and live and work and strive and eat among us. Many are hopeless. Many struggle to feed their children. Many need medical attention, clothes, heat, money for gas for their cars so they can go out looking for work, school supplies, shoes, jobs, shelter. Some live in their cars with their children.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8
This is not physical love, it is agape love, the kind of love Jesus wants us to have for one another.

“I care.”

They need someone —  anyone, to say, “I care.” Would you turn them away because they’re not White and own their home and have jobs and cars and checking accounts? Would you tell them to go home to their native wherever because they struggle to communicate in English? They don’t want a hand-out, they want a hand up.

Opinions and theories about how to resolve the immigration problem are as diverse as our culture.  But none of the solutions I have heard match Jesus’ immigration policy.

Everyone has an opinion, from the WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant rich, white extremist) to the wage-an-hour fast food server.

Then there are racist, extremist, political commentators like Pat Buchanan who blamed the re-election of President Obama for the death of the White race in America. Yes, I’m serious. No, I’m not kidding.

Jesus had a completely different take on immigration:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35

He repeats His immigration policy three times in one verse. Any time Jesus taught something He wanted His listeners to remember, He repeated it. He says it three times. Do you think loving one another is important to Jesus? If it’s important to Jesus, don’t you think it should be important to us?

What’s Your Immigration Policy?

They need to learn English if they want to live here.
Love one another.

They need to build a wall across the Southern United States border between here and Mexico.
Love one another.

They can’t read English. How are they going to obey road signs and directions?
Love one another.

They buy a house and move five families in. They’re killing our property values.
Love one another.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:13-14

But … but… but…
There’s seven cars in the driveway.
Love one another.

They’re swelling the welfare rolls.
Love one another.

They’re driving up our health care costs.
Love one another.

They vote.
Love One Another.

They are responsible for most of the crime.
Love One Another.

They’re overrunning our schools.
Love One Another.

Love One Another

Love one another. Love one another. Love one another.

That’s what Jesus would do. That’s what He commands us to do. If you think anything other than love one another will resolve our immigration problems you don’t understand Jesus and you don’t know God.

You need to know this: If Jesus was teaching and preaching on the earth today, He’d be hanging out with “them” and “those people”. Why?  Because He was attracted to them (those people) and they (those people) were attracted to Him. He would not be attracted to you or hang out with you if your beliefs about immigration are anything other than love one another.

In fact, any attitude other than love one another, whether it’s the way we treat Latinos or Blacks or Chinese or Jews of Catholics or Atheists, or Skinheads, is rebellion against your love of and for God.

I’m so grateful you stopped by to read this post. Did you enjoy it? Did it prick your spirit? Did it help you test your own immigration policies? If you enjoyed reading it, or if God challenged you to reconsider your own attitudes, why not subscribe to my blog? It’s easy. Just go to my home page. Click on Subscribe or Follow. Then enter your email address. That way you’ll get an email notification each time I publish a new blog.

Again, I’m so grateful that you stopped by. May God richly bless you today.

11 thoughts on “Jesus’ Immigration Policy

  1. There’s a challenge. Here in the UK as you can imagine Immigration is always high on the political agenda and everyone has an opinion. You’ve definitely helped to dispel my own confusion with this post.
    Of course. It’s simple. ‘These people’ are my brothers and sisters.
    Love one another.
    This is going to be in my head all day.
    Thankyou.

    Like

    • Thank you, Helen, for your thoughtful comment and for your encouragement. Love One Another. That’s a great thought to be in my head all day too. Thank you and God bless.

      Like

  2. Steven, thank you so much for drawing attention to the desperate need to set aside ideals and expectations, and to simply love as He has loved us. As a middle school teacher in an ever-changing culture, the poverty and need of our students is on the rise. If they don’t eat, they can’t concentrate; if they have no supplies, it is a struggle to even begin… Bless you heaps for giving of your time and being His hands to the hurting!

    Like

    • Shannon,
      Thank you for being obedient to His call to write. I found out yesterday that I have been approved to be a substitute teacher in our county. We have needed some extra income. God put this opportunity together. I’ll just share one example of how He blessed and orchestrated this for me. When I went to the HR department for my interview, the lady who interviewed me said she knew me from somewhere. After we chatted we realized that she used to be our teller at our bank branch. We have known each other for 10 years. I’m not saying she will give me preferential treatment, but my wife and I know it was God who made that happen that way. I could tell you more, but we know God’s plan was for me to have this opportunity.
      Thank you again, and I look forward to reading more of the things God puts on your heart.
      May God richly bless you, your family and your writing ministry.

      Like

  3. Love One Another. Works well with “What would Jesus do?” Usually the answer I get back is that he would expect everyone to obey the laws – immigration and other. But I think people forget whose lawbook Jesus is using – he doesn’t recognize US Imm Laws as his instructions from God! Jesus would tell us to obey God’s law – the easiest to remember being Love One Another.

    Thank you for the precious reminder!

    Like

  4. This truly tugged at my heartstrings Steven! I’m so glad that you shared this message. LOVE covers a multitude. Jesus spoke of such things for reasons like this. Too many things are labeled and people have self righteous thinking as to why someone does not deserve or just plainly critizing rather than showing love and lend a helping hand. We all need help in some department of our lives. And I agree… Jesus would be hanging out with the very ones people turn their noses up to or complain about. I have seen the very scenarios of living that you have stated and I don’t judge. If anything, I am praying for them. One thing I see is a family trying to make ends meet even if multiple families are living together. It’s so easy to pass judgement from the outside looking in. We don’t know what is going on in the lives of others. I can go on and on but you know how I feel about all of this.

    Let us love love love and love some more because Jesus did and still does. God bless you my brother! Your heart for others pours out and it warms my soul.

    Like

    • Thank you, Terra. I’m blessed that God spoke to you through His words. My heart goes out to those as well. Thank you again, my beloved sister.

      Like

  5. Pingback: Jesus Immigration Policy « Significant Encounters

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.