Jesus Was A Refugee Too — Herod The King, Syrians, And The Islamic State

When you take emotions out of the mix, the recent events involving Syrian refugees, the Islamic State, and Christianity appear eerily familiar. Jesus, in Earthly form, was a refugee too.

As you may know, Syrian refugees have been fleeing their war-stricken country and attempting to find solidarity elsewhere in the world. To avoid persecution from the extremist Islamic state, they’ve also attempted to enter North America, including the United States.

Yet, while trying to find safety, they’ve been met with outstanding opposition from those who would rather the refugees stay out of the country.

If you don’t know, the story of Christianity predates Jesus’ miracle works, as professed in the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Before then, baby Jesus was in danger. And it was the same type of danger current refugees are experiencing today: persecution. Ever wonder why Mary and Joseph were in a stable when they had Jesus?

According to the Kings James version of the Holy Bible, in Matthew 2:1, it mentions that Herod the King, also known as Herod the Great, wasn’t exactly pleased with Jesus’ birth — especially since he was born “King of the Jews.” Matter of fact, the scripture notes that Herod, as well as “all of Jerusalem,” was particularly “troubled.” “All of Jerusalem” meant the people who weren’t Jewish.

As a sidenote, Herod the King was appointed ruler of Jerusalem by Roman emperors. mentions that he was a pro-Roman tyrant and bloodshed followed him wherever he went. Likewise, the Jewish people resented him since he wasn’t one of them.

To digress, after hearing about Jesus’ impending “kingship,” the king sent three of his advisers on a spy-like mission, unbeknownst to the wise men. Under the auspice that the king only wanted to come worship Jesus, they found the baby king in Bethlehem of Judea. However, Bible Gateway — via Matthew 2:12 in the New International version — states that God had warned them in a dream that Herod’s mission wasn’t what it seemed. And that they shouldn’t return to the king.

He actually wanted to kill baby Jesus and prevent the future kingship. After worshiping, the wise men decided not to return to Herod. And they went on their own way.

This is where things begin to resemble today’s events. According to the next verse, “the Angel of the Lord” appeared to Joseph — Jesus’ Earthly father — in a dream and warned him that Herod was coming, not to worship but to kill. When Herod the King found out he was betrayed, he sent out a countrywide decree that all children under 2-years-old were to be killed, notes the King James version of the Holy Bible. So, Mary and Joseph fled Bethlehem with their infant.

Verse 18 mentions that, when Herod’s orders were carried out, there was a “voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning,” that could not be comforted. If you look at Syria and other parts of the world under ISIS’s control, there is such aforementioned sorrow for similar reasons.

In so many words, the Islamic state can be compared to a modern-day Herod the King of those regions. And Syrian refugees are escaping the extremist regime’s “decree,” just as Mary and Joseph did with Jesus.

In essence, Jesus — the individual at the center of America’s primary religion, Christianity — was also a refugee who was escaping persecution similar as today’s refugees. As a culture, the United States greatly celebrates the proposed story of his birth every year at Christmas. However, while looking at the innocent side, people tend to either overlook the dark side of the situation or they simply don’t know about Herod the King’s pursuit.

In the same manner that ISIS/Daesh/Boko Haram/the Islamic State are terrorists, the king of Jesus’ infancy was also a terrorist. He killed the children of his own kingdom in an effort to maintain his own kingship. This is the same within the overall caliphate’s ideology, as mentions the Council on Foreign Relations.

The Islamic state wants no other “kingship” than their own. And if you pose opposition, even in its own territory, “death” is the decree of the day.

What are your thoughts? Feel free to share in the comments.

[Photo by Rachel La Corte/Giannis Papanikos/Associated Press and Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images News]