The Refugee's Journey (dialog)
Grandes lignes: Dialog version. During the life of Jesus the Messiah, He became a refugee, and endured homelessness, rejection, and betrayal. He suffered hunger, thirst, pain, and death. But He conquered death! Now He offers us an eternal home with Him in Heaven, and promises ultimate justice. Put your trust in Him and receive His security and peace.
|Numéro de texte:||482|
|Thème:||Fear; Incarnation; Resurrection of Jesus; Love of God; Problems, troubles, worries; Life of Christ; Heaven; Peace with God; Faith, trust, believe in Jesus; Judgement; Punishment for guilt|
|Audience:||Muslim; General; Refugees|
|Genre:||Messages and Fiction|
Ce texte est la directive de base pour la traduction et l'enregistrement dans des langues étrangères. Il devrait être adapté selon différentes cultures pour garder sa pertinence. Certains termes peuvent être ajoutés ou retirés pour parfaire le résultat.
(This is a sequel to follow recording of “The Refugee”)
A. Hello my friend. How are you and your children doing today?
B. We are doing much better, thank you. But we are still sad about losing my (husband/wife) and having to leave our home.
A. Did you have a chance to think about the story I told you the last time we met?
B. Oh, yes, about the baby Jesus who became a refugee. You promised to tell me more about His life. Do you have time now?
A. Certainly (of course). Last time, we talked about His birth and how His parents had to flee to Egypt when He was less than two years old, to escape King Herod who wanted to kill him. The King sent soldiers to Bethlehem to find and kill Jesus. They couldn’t find him, but killed all the boys who were two years old and younger. An angel warned Joseph, so he took Mary and the baby and escaped to Egypt. That is how Mary and Joseph and little Jesus became refugees. They were safe in Egypt. When Herod died, Joseph took the family to a town named Nazareth. The ancient prophecy that said Jesus would be called a “Nazarene” came true. He grew and became strong and full of wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.
B. What did Jesus do in Nazareth?
A. The Bible doesn’t tell us a lot about His youth, but Joseph was a carpenter, so Jesus would have learned that trade. When Jesus was about thirty years old, He went to the Jordan River and was baptized by John the Baptist. The Holy Spirit of God came down in the form of a dove and rested on Jesus. Then God’s voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My dearly loved Son, with whom I am well pleased (“This is My Son, whom I love, who brings Me great joy”).”
Then God’s Holy Spirit led Jesus to go to a waste land (wilderness) and to fast for forty days. He was all by himself with the wild animals. After all that time, He was very hungry, and Satan came and tempted Him. Satan said, “If You are God’s Son, then tell these stones to change into bread.”
But Jesus answered him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
The devil tempted Him twice more, but Jesus answered him again with words from the Scriptures. Then Satan left Him, and angels came and took care of Him. We know that because Jesus the Messiah was very, very hungry, He knows how we feel when we are hungry. Also, since Jesus was put to the test Himself, He is able to help other people even when they are tempted by Satan.
B. Well, we refugees face many tests and trials all the time.
A. I’m so sorry. Remember, you can call on God in the name of Jesus when you face tests.
B. Well, Jesus must have had a very good life when he got back to Nazareth.
A. Things went well for him at first, but it wasn’t long before he became a refugee once more. He first went back to the area called Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit. One day He came to Nazareth, where He had been as a child, and on the holy day He went into the house of worship and stood up to read from the Scriptures. They gave Him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened it and read this:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has marked Me out (anointed Me) to give good news to the poor. He has sent Me to heal those who are broken-hearted; to say that the prisoners (captives) will be let go, and the blind will see, and to make the oppressed (bruised, wounded) free, and to give knowledge that the year of the Lord’s favor (good pleasure) is come.”
Then He shut the book. While everyone was still looking at Him He said, “This Scripture you have just heard has been fulfilled today.” They stared in amazement because they knew him as the son of the carpenter, Joseph. Still, they had heard about miracles that He had done in another town.
Jesus surprised them by saying, “Certainly you will say to Me this proverb, ‘Let the medical man make himself well! The things we have heard You did over at Capernaum—also do them here in your own home town.’”
And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, No prophet is honored (accepted) in his own country. He reminded them of the time of the prophet Elijah, when there was no rain for three years and six months, and there was no food in the land. But Elijah was not sent to one of those widows. He was only sent to Zarephath (Sarepta), (a town to the north in the land) of Sidon (Saida, Lebanon), to a woman who was a widow. He also reminded them of the time of the prophet Elisha, when there were many lepers in their country Israel. None of them were healed except a man called Naaman who was from another country, Syria. In other words, they could not claim God as their exclusive God.
B. I think I remember the story of Naaman. He was a Syrian general who had that terrible disease of leprosy. He had captured a young girl who became a slave to his wife, right? But even though that young girl was exiled from her home and her family, she forgave her captors. She felt sorry for Naaman with his leprosy, and told his wife about the prophet Elisha, who called on God to heal Naaman of his leprosy.
A. That’s right! So Jesus was reminding the people that God is good to people in many countries, and not just their own country. But when the people in the house of worship heard Jesus talk about how kind God had been to people in Lebanon and Syria, they became very angry. So they took him out of the town to the edge of a cliff, and tried to throw him down to his death. But He passed through the people and went on His way.
In this way, Jesus was rejected by his own town. After this, He was homeless (no longer had a home). The rest of His time of ministry, He went from place to place.
B. That must have been very sad for him.
A. Yes, it must have been. Nobody likes to be rejected. But he traveled to many places, always moving, because His purpose was to teach people about God and to show them God’s love. He healed the sick, delivered them from evil spirits, and taught them how to love God. He showed them how to trust Him and how to love other people. In this way He truly identified with the pain and suffering of all men and women, young people and children. Jesus shared the suffering of people who are not welcome and have to flee (run away) from danger. He knows what it is like to be hungry, to have no possessions, and have nowhere to call your home.
B. But did people listen to his teaching?
A. Many did! He also called twelve men to be with him. They were called His disciples (followers). There was another man who came to Jesus and said, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” But Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests (resting places), but the Son of Man does not have anywhere to lay His head.”
Today, just like other times, people are rejected and others try to kill them. They may be hated and despised. Sometimes they are pushed out of their homelands. When that happens, we know that Jesus understands. All of that happened to Him, too. But Jesus trusted in God to protect Him and provide for Him. God is ready to help all displaced people. God is our refuge. He can give strength through the hardships.
Jesus experienced God’s protection and His provision when people would invite Him into their homes and give Him food. Other times Jesus and His followers gathered some food from the fields that they walked through. These were times of grace and help. Jesus lived a life of trust in God even though He experienced much sorrow and adversity.
Jesus came to show people God’s love, but many of His own people did not welcome Him. They rejected Him. They did not understand Him, and they despised Him. Some religious people hated Him because He told the truth about them. He knew their hearts were not right with God. They were jealous of Him and felt that their power was threatened. They wanted to kill Him.
Yet, those who were truly seeking God and truth and a heavenly kingdom, did welcome Jesus. God gave them grace to believe in Jesus’ name and trust His character. And when they believed in Jesus, God made them like His very own children.
B. So did everything turned out well in the end?
A. Yes, it really did, but for a time it did not look that way. After three years, one of Jesus’ disciples (special twelve friends and followers) was tempted by Satan. He betrayed Jesus into the hands of His enemies who were jealous of Him and hated Him. They arrested Jesus and took Him to court. He was flogged with a whip. Then Jesus underwent an unjust mock trial. Witnesses told lies about Him. Although He was innocent, he was not treated fairly He was unjustly sentenced to die It was the shameful death given to convicted criminals in those days. He was nailed to a wooden cross and hung there suffering great pain and thirst, until He died.
This was all part of God’s plan that Jesus would die like this. He was being punished for wrongs, or sins, He did not commit. It was God’s plan that the sins that Jesus was being punished for were the sins of all people. This includes your sin and my sin.
It was sinful people who rejected Him. It was sinful, evil people who crucified (put Him on the cross) Him, and the people who rejected Him watched and mocked. But Jesus knew He was fulfilling God's plan to save those who would believe in Him.
After Jesus died, His body was buried in a tomb with a huge rock placed in the entrance of the tomb. A tomb is a place of darkness and there is no life there. His body was in the tomb for 3 days. To the people, it looked like there was no hope for Him ever coming back. It looked like God had abandoned Jesus, even though Jesus trusted Him so much. But God wanted to show that He is a refuge (place of shelter), even in death if we trust in Him. After 3 days God miraculously raised Jesus back to life! With God there is great hope, and life. When Jesus was raised back to life, He was showing that He is stronger than death. He was showing that He is able to give life that lasts forever to all those people who believe in Him.
Jesus appeared to His followers. He ate food with His disciples. He talked with them. After 40 days Jesus was on a hill with His disciples when he was taken up to Heaven in a cloud as they were watching. Two angels appeared to the followers and told them that just as they had seen Jesus go up to Heaven, in the same way, He will return. Jesus is still alive today, and He will never die again. He is alive forever. We can talk to Him in prayer, even today. When He returns to earth the next time, it will be to judge the world. He will take all those people who believe in Him to live with Him in Heaven for ever. He will condemn all those people who have not believed in Him to eternal punishment in hell.
B. Jesus is SO important! Why did God allow Jesus to be crucified, and then raise Him from the dead?
A. God wanted to overcome the greatest exile of all human beings from God. God wanted to make a way for people not to be sentenced to eternal punishment in hell. Punishment in hell is eternal separation from God. That is the greatest exile, the exile that shuts people away from the presence of God forever. But this terrible exile started a long time ago. You see, the first man and the first woman, Adam and Eve, sinned against God when they disobeyed God's instruction. They were told what would happen, but they still did what He had told them not to do. They were sent away from His presence. When this happened they were expelled from their first home and from God’s Kingdom. Ever since, their descendants, all people including you and me, have been born and lived outside the Kingdom of God.
The disobedience of Adam and Eve was the beginning of more and more sin. There has been great unrest in the heart of man outside of God's Kingdom. There have been wars and struggles, with hatred, greed, and corruption that we see in the world today. But in God's Kingdom there is peace, love, obedience, and joy. Sin causes grief and sadness, and in Jesus' life on earth, He experienced that grief and sadness. But He came to change the consequences of sin for those people who believe in Him. He made the way for people to have the assurance of a permanent home with Him in Heaven, and end the exile of people from God. Through Jesus, God offers His home to us. In His Heavenly Kingdom, there is no greed, no corruption, no fighting, no sadness, and no sickness. It is a place of peace, acceptance, respect, and happiness, being with God forever.
B. Do you mean that when I die, I can go to heaven [where God lives] even if I’m a sinner?
A. Yes. Jesus died to pay for your sins and mine. Jesus told the people, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me. There is more than enough room in My Father’s home (In my Father's house there are many mansions). If this were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”
One of His disciples said to Him, “No, we don’t know, Lord. We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.”
God offers us hope and the assurance that we can be free from all our sorrow and pain, never to be homeless again or separated from Him. He has made the way for us to be with Him always in His home in Heaven. This hope and security are greater than our sorrows and our pain right now. Jesus' love and acceptance can take the place of the rejection we may be feeling now. When we experience loneliness and fear, change and insecurity, evil and shock, indifference and injustice from others, Jesus offers us true hope and consolation. Even in dislocation, when we are forced to leave our homes, Jesus says, “I have loved you even as My Father has loved Me. Remain ever in My love.”
B. Would Jesus welcome me? I would really like to come to a place of peace in my life.
A. Yes, for sure! Jesus welcomes refugees who have experienced the breakdown of cultural, religious, and national values to His peaceful Kingdom. He remains the same always, yesterday, today, and forever. He fills us with joy and peace in believing. He offers us hope, joy, and security, to calm our hearts from despair, war, fear, and insecurity. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give it in the same way as the world tries to give peace. Don't let your heart be troubled, and don't let it be afraid.” When we believe in Jesus, He gives us a peace that calms our hearts and takes away our fear. The peace that Jesus gives is very different from the kind of peace the world talks about. When they talk about peace, it really only refers to the stopping of fighting between people. The peace that Jesus gives helps us not to feel afraid of God and His judgment, but to be at peace with God because our sins are forgiven. When we tell Jesus we believe in Him, we also feel very sorry for the sins that we have done and we ask Jesus to forgive us for our sins. Then, He gives us His Spirit to come and live in us. We will have strength and can ask Him to give us wisdom to know what is right to do.
B. But what about those people who have driven us from our homes?
A. When Jesus comes back to the earth, He will judge all people. The justice of God will triumph over evil. He will condemn all evil acts and those who perform them will be guilty before Him. God will bring justice to the oppressed and punish the oppressor. The people who hurt you will have to face God's justice. Jesus will judge people for what they have done with Him. Jesus said that the sin of the world is not to believe in Him. Those people who do not believe in Jesus are already condemned. When we believe in Jesus we are no longer condemned, but have the assurance of eternal life with Jesus in Heaven. The Scripture tells us that God commands all people everywhere to repent, for He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.” We know that someday, God's Kingdom will cover the earth, and Jesus' followers will live with Him forever.
B. So are you telling me that the bad things that happened to Jesus were for my good?
A. Yes. God used what was evil to bring this good. Jesus was despised and rejected by His own people, had to flee from His home, and finally betrayed by His own friend, but God used all this to show that He is faithful. Jesus was put to death at the hands of injustice and cruelty, but God used this to demonstrate that He holds the power of life itself, and that with such power He will someday bring all evils to justice. Satan intended evil and death, but God intended to offer life through Jesus’ resurrection. This means we can have peace and confidence now, and hope for the future, even though at present we see great evil. God can change anything to good, if we will take refuge in Him. Through Jesus, we can know the way to a home that can never be taken away. What Jesus said is true: He is the way, the truth, and the life.
B. But I still have many difficulties. What can I do?
A. We see from many stories in the Bible (book of God) how God can change bad things that happen, to bring people to Himself. Through difficulties He can give life and healing and hope. In faith you can pray to Him and trust Him to help you through your troubles. Jesus was God’s answer for all time. Even today can be the day of salvation for you. Jesus conquered death so that nothing could separate you from God. All those who trust in Jesus' Name are welcome into His Kingdom and His home, an eternal home in the heavens. Believe in Jesus and He will give you peace in your heart and strength for the trials you are experiencing on earth. Will you believe in Jesus today, and receive a peace that passes all understanding? This peace is available to you no matter what kind of hardship you are facing just now. Pray to Him and ask Him to come into your life. Ask Him to forgive your sin, because He already paid for it. Ask Him to guard your heart and mind with His comforting peace. The world cannot give you this kind of peace. Only Jesus the Messiah can save you and keep you, now and for eternity.
Refs: Matt. 2; Heb 2:18; John 15:9-13; Heb. 13:8; Rom. 15:13; John 14:27; Ps. 72:4; Acts 17:30, 31