Image and Text by Rick McVicar
Jesus is not just friendly towards migrants. He actually causes massive migration because he is so popular, according to the Gospel of Mark.
People from “Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon” gather in a crowd on a lakeshore seeking Jesus’ healing (3:8, NIV). People push against each other, prompting Jesus to step onto a boat to maintain a safe distance (3:8).
Click on image to go to animated YouTube video praising God's blessings.
The widespread geography of people’s homelands would surely bring a wide diversity of people. Not everyone would have the same language, skin or hair color. The crowd must include a good number of people with disabilities, as many seek Jesus’ healing.
With the backdrop of a lake, this passage is surely a call for environmental justice. Inclusion must be a part of any solution to our climate crisis. Justice must be kept for those who are on the move because of the loss of their homelands. That is not just my opinion. That is my belief based on Jesus’ compassion for masses of people on the move.
Not only does Jesus show compassion for migrants, he invites their movement across borders.
People are on the move and migrating at record numbers across the globe for several reasons. At the top of the list is movement because of climate change. Drought in some areas and flooding in other areas, along with the loss of coastline, are environmental crises pushing people across national borders. The southern border of the United States is a prime example, impacting the nation’s politics. A reactionary backlash appears to be gaining ground.
This is occurring at the same time the United States is putting money into migrating past its earthly borders into space. A return to the moon is now in the works.
I imagine Jesus is wondering how the United States can afford a trip to the moon but cannot afford helping people migrating from other countries. Well, if Jesus is not wondering about it, I know I am.
Whether you agree with me or not, I hope you have artful health today.