As Christians celebrate the birth of Christ, the dangerous situation he faced in his infancy should not be forgotten. According to the Gospel of Matthew, the new-born Jesus and his family fled from Bethlehem to Egypt to escape the wrath of King Herod of Judea. They were allowed to enter Egypt, where they lived in safety until Herod died.
Matthew’s recitation of events shows that Jesus and his family were refugees — forced to leave their home to escape danger or persecution. The Egyptians gave them refuge until the family felt it was safe to return. Thank God that the Egyptians did not refuse them asylum and turn them away. That is a wonderful object lesson, in and of itself.