A busload of politicians is driving by a farm where a man lives alone. The bus driver, caught up in the beautiful scenery, loses control and crashes into the ditch. The farmer comes out, and finding the politicians, buries them. The next day the police are at the farm questioning the man. “So you buried all the politicians?” asked the police officer. “Were they all dead?”  To which the man replied, “Some said they weren’t, but you know how all them politicians lie.”

It has become fashionable among the left to say that we need to open up our borders to refugees because after all, Jesus himself was one (taken to Egypt by his parents to escape King Herod’s wrath).   The United Church of Canada even has this website poem:

Jesus was a refugee, that’s how the story goes; fleeing with his mom and dad, in the night from his foes.  Newborn in his parents’ arms, he left nativity, on the run, in search of peace, far from captivity.

Refugees – the same today, all yearning for new life, leaving countries so war-torn, escaping from the strife. Refugees – we welcome them as they begin anew; we show hospitality and love in what we do.  But there is just one problem, Jesus was not a refugee.  At least, not according to the United Nations definition of such, of which all of the world’s major nations signed in agreement.  Here is the key portion – A refugee is defined as any person who is outside of their own nation and who is unable or unwilling to return to their own nation because of persecution or a well-founded fear of such on account of such factors as race, religion, ethnicity, membership in a particular political opinion or social group, etc.

Jesus was not a refugee for two key reasons:

#1 He did not flee to another land (a refugee is any person outside of their own nation).  In the time of Rome, Egypt was considered just one of a number of provinces of the Empire.  This meant that you could travel freely in and out of the Land of the Pharaoh without having to cross a border, pass through a check-point, have a passport, make application for entrance, etc.  So he certainly wasn’t an illegal immigrant.

#2 He did not stay in another land (a refugee is any person unable or unwilling to return to their own nation).  When the angel told Joseph of King Herod’s death and that his family was now “able” to return, they were more than “willing” to get back home. And by the way, the entire round trip did not cost the government a dime.  The family had more than enough money from the gifts of the magi.

The bottom line?  Canada yearly takes in 250,000 outsiders (200,000 immigrants and 50,000 refugees), but Jesus would certainly not have been one of them.