The Bible is clear.
Jesus was born to a poor, young, unmarried mother and raised by a man who wasn’t his biological father.
Jesus was a refugee; his family fled across a desert to a foreign land, searching for safety and a better life.
Jesus was an unemployed, homeless day laborer living under the brutal control of an oppressive government.
Jesus opposed the religious leaders of the day — men who misinterpreted scripture and sided with the politicians.
Jesus was dark-skinned, dirty, homeless, and a victim of the government.
Jesus was not the child of a millionaire or a celebrity.
Jesus didn’t inherit his family’s church, his father’s university, his father’s construction company, or a position of power and privilege. Jesus inherited his family’s poverty, traveling with little more than the clothes on his back, subsisting on charity.
The message of Jesus was counter to the religious establishment and the dominant culture. He was opposed by the religious leaders and disrespected by the leaders of mainstream society.
Jesus was a victim of police brutality. But in a moment of forgiveness and charity, he healed the wound of his oppressor.
Jesus died alone– rejected and abandoned, his body assigned to an unmarked grave.
Jesus was a terrorist, a threat to the rule of law, his followers hunted down and executed in the months and years after his government-sanctioned execution.
Jesus is not on the side of wealthy white men in suits and ties when they discriminate against women, children, foreigners, and aliens residing among us.
Jesus does not support armed government officials forcibly separating families.
Jesus is with the losers, not the leaders.
Jesus is on the side of the mother losing her child.
Jesus is with the children, not the armed government agents taking them from their mother’s arms.
Jesus is inside locked cages, not on the side of the guards as they dehumanize and denigrate strangers.
Jesus is with a Syrian refugee child.
Jesus is a Honduran roofer.
Jesus is the dark-skinned woman cleaning restaurant tables, hotel rooms and offices. He is the voice struggling to learn a new language in a new land. Jesus is the stranger who asks for help.
Jesus is the family fleeing such horrific danger that they risk their lives, rather than remain in their homes.
To justify violence against children, to support bigotry or discrimination is not the way of Jesus and not of God.
Scripture twisted to defend indefensible abuse is not the Way of Jesus, and not the way Jesus calls us to be. Jesus calls us to help the helpless, not persecute them.
The Bible is clear.