Jesus the Migrant: the hope of Migrants (Seqoqawe Dingil)

November 10,  2015
By ZeYared Zarema (

   Part Three

In the last part of this continuing work, I only gave focus to the history of migration and the very hardship of the life of migration taking few examples. In the present and last piece, I will give emphasis to the migration of the second Adam, the hope of migrants, and the migrant Jesus as a hope of all migrants. Stay blessed!

  1.The Migration of the Second Adam

From the very definition of it, migration is moving from original place to another. Imagine what and where the place of the Word of God and the flesh or humanity He assumed are!? The place of the Word is, with no doubt, the Divinity and in the Highest. Contrarily, the place of the flesh is a creature and in the lowest. The difference is incomparable. Irrespective of this, the Word not only came to humanity but also into humanity and assumed human flesh.As to me, this is the very and ever distant migration in the totality of the history, but to find the migrant and grant him exodus. 

Thus, to my mind, the very migration in the God-human history is the humiliation of the second person of the Holy Trinity, the Son, as recorded in the Pauline epistle to Philippians: “But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil2:7f). Really wonderful and magnificent is the migration of Godhead to mankind, though He did not left His Divinity at all!

This inwardly migration of the Son of God is also clearly seen to humanity when He fled to Egypt, being not a single personality but being a cosmic man, representing the race of humanity. He there suffered all the suffering that Adam had to suffer and to weaken the earthly suffering we fear. Today no suffering is frightening for all the frights were carried on the shoulder of the Migrant Human-God (Paulos Mar Gregorios 1992: 25)

2.  What is the Hope of Migrants?

To the migrants, life is not as such easy, as I tried to highlight their life in the last part, and in most cases they lead a hopeless life. I only imagine two hopes, add please if you do have, in the mind of migrants. One is the sense of homage in their place of destination and the other is returning to their origin. Let’s see these two hopes in the life of one of the patriarch of the Israelites.

Joseph, the son of Jacob, when he was in Egypt, not only was a migrant but also was a slave the Egyptians bought. Despite these, for God were with him, he did not loss his hope. His hope was on his creator; the One Who gave him grace first in front of his brothers and later amongst the Egyptians, and got the feeling of homage. He was first appointed over all the properties of the house of Potiphar, and then lastly over all the wealth of Egypt and the Egyptian themselves right under the Pharaoh. This is witnessed in the Holy Scripture when “Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house” (Gen41:51).
The Ethiopian singer and teacher of the middle age, St. Giyorgis of Sagla, on his very celebrated composition for the night timely magnificence of God (ሰዓታት ዘሌሊት)  said “ቅዱስ ቅዱስ ቅዱስ እግዚአብሔር ዘምስለ ዮሴፍ ተሰይጠ ከመ ይስፍር ሲሳየ ለሕዝብ፡ Holy, Holy, Holy God, He was sold with Joseph, purposefully to prepare food for the people.” (ገብረ ሥሴ ብርሃኑ 2000: 13)


The second hope of Joseph was his return to the land of his fathers, the land of covenant. His hope was not in partial faith, did he faithfully hope his return even after his death. This very full hope made, “Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.” (Gen50:24)

Whatever the life stories of migration the migrant enjoys could be good or bad, every migrant hope for return back home. Who can fulfill the double hope of migrants, except the migrant human-God Himself. This seems what the composer of the “Lamentation of Virgin” made to say “Jesus the migrant, the hope of migrants.

3.  Jesus the Migrant: the Hope of Migrants

It seems paradox! How a migrant could be the hope for other migrants and how migrants could hope on another migrant!? This leads us to another question; why the Word of God (Son the God)  the wilderness of Africa? The church scholars articulate the purpose of the humiliation of Word the God; He traveled the negative way the first Adam chosen. Adam was created to go high into the life of godliness through faithfulness and obedience, but he traveled the contrary, by disbelief and disobedience, to sinfulness and death.  
God, being naturally merciful, followed the negative path of the designed way Adam had to follow and missed, down to humanity to reverse the direction of the path of all humanity that they able go high into the life of godliness. This made St. Athanasius the apostle write that the Son of God travelled into the valley humanity that the fallen man get an ability to go high into the son-ship of God (On the Incarnation, by the St. Athanasius).


Adam, as I have mentioned in part two, left the angelic life of the paradise and migrated into the cursed earth. What was his hope being a stranger in a strange habitat? There is a tradition in our church which shows that God have given a covenant of hope to fallen Adam before his withdrawal from the paradise that foretold his return and made him stay with hope.
This tradition is articulated in one of the hymns of our father, St. Yared: “ወይቤሎ ለአቡነ አዳም እትወለድ እምወለተ ወለትከ ወእድኅክ ውስተ መርሕብከ ወእከውን ሕፃነ በእንቲአከ And (GOD) said to Adam our father, I will be born, from the daughter of your daughter, and I will creep inside your dwelling [the world or humanity], And will be a child for your sake” (Diggua Ze-Astemhro) [If መርሕብ is literally translated, it is a place where someone dwells. But in this context, what is the mind of Yared that made him say “creep inside your dwelling”? The dwelling of Adam inside which the Son of God crept is nothing but the human flesh He assumed and the humiliated earth, by the curse resulted from Adam’s fall, inside where God revealed in the flesh of man.]

In our tradition, being Word the God was revealed to us through the flesh of the Virgin Mary, she is honored the position of “the means of salvation, ምክንያተ ድኂን” and for this reason the honored anaphora in her name attributed to Abba Hriaqos of Nhissa, treasured the following message, “አንቲ ውእቱ ተስፋሁ ለአዲም አመ ይሰደድ እምገነት፣ You are the hope of Adam, at the time of his migration from the paradise” (ቅዳሴ ማርያም 1990፣ 40). Thus, for five days and half a day, or the 5500 years, (Ibid, 41), Adam was hoping not other than the migrant Jesus that we say is the“hope of migrants”.

Our fathers, the Ethiopian exegetes, gave an aggregated reason of the migration of the infant Jesus together with His mother to the desert area in the exegesis of the gospel according to Mathew showing that His migration as a fulfillment of the migration Adam and as a means of undoing of the fatal life of migration, and redirect the way to the origin, that is the paradise. See the words of the exegetes:

በዚያውስ ላይ ለምን ተሰደደ ቢሉ፣ እንደይሞት ጊዜው አልደረሰምና፣ ከዚያ ሳለ [በገሊላ ሳለ] ድኖም ቢሆን ምትሐት ነው ባሉ  ነበርና። አንድም አዳም ከዚህ ዓለም አፍአ ከምትሆን ከገነት ተሰዶ ነበርና ለዚያ እንደካሰ  ለማጠየቅ፣ አንድም ለሰማዕታት ስደትን ለመባረክ፤ ሰማዕትነት  በእሳት መቃጠል በስለት መቆራረጥ ብቻ አይደለም። አገርንም ጥሎ  መሰደድ ሰማዕትነት ነውና። አንድም ጕየተ ሕፃን አጕየዮ ለዲያብልስ እንዳለ አጋንንትን ከሰው ልቡና አስወጥቶ ለመስደድ።

On top of that, why He migrated? Not to die, for His hour was not yet come. And had he was save being there [in Galilee], they would have said He is a spirit. Again, for Adam was migrated from the paradise, which is outside of this earth, [He migrated] to prove that He ransomed that. Again, to bless migration to the martyrs; martyrdom is not only being burnt of fire, being cut and cut off of blade; for leaving a country is also a martyrdom. Again, as it is said „the run of the Kid made the devil run‟, to chase demons casting out of the heart of man. (ተስፋ ገብረ ሥሊሴ 1988: 88)

Why chased the demons from human hearts? The intention could not be other than making our hearts His own homes. Himself not to migrate, but to settle in His own house; as St. Paul declared, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? … the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1Cor3:16f)


God loves the migrants, irrespective of their faithfulness to Him.  He did not differentiate between the faithful and the non faithful, but He ordered all humankind to respect any displaced, to accept them as ones guest and to help them in their time of tribulation and sense of hopeless.How beautiful are the words of God given to the Israelites through Moses, “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff necked. For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Deut10:16-19)


Who could be the strangers that got mention in the teaching of our Lord? These strangers for sure are not the people whom do we know. They are displaced people, and to make them feel the sense of homage, we have to accept and host them. This hospitality is made on behalf of God and for God. This is the reason why Jesus foretold us that, in His second coming, He will utter “I was a stranger, and ye took me in… Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Mat25:35, 40)

Today, migration can be of different. Other than the sufferings of the physical migration, there are additional migrations and their sufferings harder than that of physical. Some migrate from knowing God and suffer of their trial to know gods, others migrate from the church and suffer of the absenteeism of her Head, the migrant Jesus, others too, even being in the church migrate from the Eucharistic life and suffer of hunger and thirsty of the eternal food and drink. Who can be the hope of all these I mentioned and others I could not and I do like to mention? No other hope except Jesus the migrant, the hope of migrants.

4.  Conclusion

Migration is not a human fate. It is the result of the fallen nature of man as a consequence of disbelief and disobedience. Or it is a negative reward for the negatively practiced will. Adam chose to go away of God, and God having granted the free will cannot resist. But, the good God did not left him; He followed him, showed him that the life of migration is fatal, and instructed him how he can return, participated in his life of migration and its tribulation, and reversed his way toward Himself and the original life of godliness.

No more, today, fearing is the earthly migration. Our hope, not only of the earth but of the heavens, Jesus the migrant, the hope of migrants, is with us. Whether we are home or abroad, whether we are migrants in one way or the other, we never fill hopelessness, He is the ever and very nearer helper Who never neglects any migrant. Instead He calls us all, who in any case are away of his careful arms, to return as He called Adam from the sheol and the murderer on his right side into purity.

In every time and at every place, or at any time-space reference, the hope of all migrants is Jesus. He is always with them, to treat and comfort them; that is why He said “Inasmuch as ye havedone it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” and I, with the composer of the  “Lamentation of the Virgin”,  called Him  “Jesus the migrant, the hope of migrants”.

May all glories be to Jesus, the Incarnate Son of God!

May the intercession of the Virgin Mary help us all be always with the Migrant and the hope of migrants, for being near to Him leads being in communion with Him. Amen!


• St. Athanasius (4th c), On the Incarnation, St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church

•  Holy Bible, King James Version

•  Dr. Paulos Mar Gregorios (1992), A Human God, MGF Spectrum Book, India

•  Tsehaye Dedimas (2014), Soteriological teachings of saint Yared in his hymns of

Sundays, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia (Unpublished)

•  መጽሐፍ ቅዱስ፣ የብሉይና የአዲስ ኪዳን መጻሕፍት፣ 1962 ዓ/ም፡፡

•  ተስፋ ገብረ (1988)፣ ወንጌል ቅዱስ ዘእግዚእነ          ወመድኃኒነ       ኢየሱስ  ክርስቶስ    ንባቡና  ትርጓሜው፡፡



 ብርሃኑ (2000)፣ መጽሐፈ  ሰዓታት   ከነምሌክቱ ምስለ  ኵለሉ ጸዋትዊሁ  ወባሕረ      ሐሳብ፣ አደስ አበባ፡፡

 ኤፍሬም (ቅደስ) እና ሕርያቆስ (አባ) (1990)፣ ውዳሴ ማርያምና ቅዳሴ ማርያም ንባቡና ትርጓሜው፣ ትንሣኤ ማተሚያ ቤት፣ አዱስ አበባ::