Jesus: He Gets Us | Jesus Faced Hardships Like Us

Here is the devotional:

As of last year, more than 65 million people have been forced to leave their homes and live as refugees outside their country or displaced within, according to the U.N. refugee agency, Global Trends.

On the run for their lives, these millions leave everything behind just to survive.

Jesus could say, I know exactly what that is like. Jesus and his parents were refugees, too. This rarely told drama followed the famous Christmas story and shows us how Jesus himself knew what it was like to be hunted, on the move, and in danger.

Where do you run when the king wants your baby dead? Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, snuck him out of Bethlehem in the middle of the night after having been warned that King Herod’s troops were on their way to kill Jesus. Herod, near the end of his mad, mad life, feared Jesus. He thought Jesus, foretold to be the next “king,” would steal his throne. Herod ordered his troops to massacre every baby boy in the neighborhood, hoping Jesus was one of them.

We don’t know exactly how this night unfolded, but it likely went something like this: Joseph and Mary took only what they could carry. She bundled up Jesus against the night air and away from the eyes of curious spies and they were out of their house by daybreak. The dawn would bring unspeakable grief to the sleepy towns around Bethlehem. They escaped by a matter of hours. Dozens of other baby boys did not.

Their only option was Egypt, barely outside the madman’s reach. Just 75 miles to the border and then another 200 miles to the nearest town. Before they could rest again, they would walk the better part of two weeks. Once out of harm’s way, they hid out as fugitives inside Jewish communities in Egypt’s northern delta.

This was Jesus’ childhood story. They lived as refugees, not returning to their home country until after Herod died. Even then, with Herod’s most wicked son on the throne in the Jerusalem area, they were warned not to settle there, but to move north to Nazareth—displaced, but safer. All to stay alive.

An upbringing like that is bound to change you.

Just as millions today have had their lives rerouted and their stories rewritten, Jesus understood this vulnerability first-hand. He defined his home more by his relationships than by location and his safety more by his sense of purpose than by who was in power. Later in his life when he had no house, no regular place to sleep or eat, and no safe place to rest, he may have felt again like a refugee in search of a home. He gets us.

Here are the scriptures referenced:

And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
Matthew 2:13‭-‬15 KJV

Here are Stu’s thoughts:

I’ve been in that place of not knowing where I will sleep for the night many times in my life. Of course more as adult than as a child, but can you imagine?

I met some homeless kids whose parents passed away in Nashville while feeding the homeless one weekend. It just broke my heart to hear their story. They were Erin’s and Brandon’s age. I just couldn’t imagine what they were going through. It hurt I tell ya.

But we have so many all across this world who have no place to call home or even a bed to lay on.

Jesus understands that! Jesus went through every single scenario you can think of from being on the run to standing firm against the money changers!

It doesn’t matter the hardship Jesus understands it. He may never have been molested as a child or even physically abused but I’m sure he knew folks that had been. He hurt for them just as he hurts for people today.

Take your hardship…your hurt…your pain to Jesus. He understands what you are going through. But what is even better is this…Jesus loves you and knows what blessings are around the corner!

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