What We Can Learn from Jesus’ Life as A Global Nomad

He should have been adored as a king. Instead, He came as an outcast.

He tumbled into the world as the most humble, helpless of creatures. A baby, born in a poor man’s stable and laid in an animal’s feeding trough; born to a common Jewish man and a teenage woman in a country oppressed by the world’s most powerful empire of the time.

He should have been the most revered man on earth, with thousands flocking to worship Him as their long-awaited Messiah. Instead, He wandered Israel, misunderstood and maligned, eventually forsaken even by His closest friends, with nowhere to lay His head, no home to call His own, and no people to belong to.

He came as a nomad.

The Life of a Nomad

As TCKs, we often call ourselves global nomads. It’s a popular phrase used for international wanderers, adventurers, or travelers.

But while that term may make it sound like our lives are full of exotic adventure and fun, the reality of a nomad is anything but.

According to the Collins Dictionary, a nomad is “a member of a group of people who travel from place to place rather than living in one place all the time.” 

Nomads have no place to call their own. They’re constantly uprooting, usually because of necessity. And because they have no permanent home, they’re often shunned and misunderstood by those around them. Their lives are isolated and solitary. And in nearly every sense of the word, they’re outcasts.

Sound familiar?

While you’ve likely never been treated as an outcast, you’ve probably felt like you don’t belong anywhere, like others don’t accept you because you’re too different.

Jesus knows what that’s like. You see, He was a nomad, too, for over 30 years (Matt. 8:20). Even more of a nomad than you and I can ever be. Because He truly was not of this world.

Imagine what it took for Him, the perfect and complete Son of God, to take on human form in all its imperfection and messiness, to leave His perfect, sinless home in heaven to come down and live among corrupt, sin-ridden men. Imagine what it was like for Him to be reviled and scorned and eventually killed by the very people He came to save.

Being a global nomad for Christ is anything but easy (just look at Jesus’ life). But it is an important mission, one we should feel privileged to be part of.

You know what’s even better? We have a perfect example to follow in Jesus when He came down to earth as a nomad two thousand years ago. Here are three things we can learn from the life He lived well here on earth as a global nomad:

1. Jesus embraced His purpose with joy.

Philippians 2:6–8 tells us that Jesus came to earth willingly: “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (ESV).

Now, you might be saying, but what about the Garden of Gethsemane? Didn’t He ask His Father to take the cup from Him? That doesn’t sound like joy to me.

That’s true. But even though Jesus wrestled with what the Father had called Him to do (as any human would) to the point that He even sweat drops of blood, He still ended His conversation with His Father with these words: “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42 ESV).

True joy does not always equal happiness. Joy is a choice, not a feeling. It is choosing to obey God even when you don’t understand, even when the path is hard, because you know that it will glorify Him.

Our lives as global nomads are hard at times. There are countless moves involved, a myriad of heart-wrenching goodbyes, and a whirlwind of adjustments that are anything but fun.

But this is the life God has called you to, dear TCK. 

Will you accept it joyfully? Will you seek to glorify God even in the midst of life’s most painful moments? Can you say with Paul that “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” (Phil. 4:11 ESV)?

Choose joy, day after day, even when it’s hard. And you just might find that your life is richer for it.

2. Jesus remained focused on His purpose.

He didn’t allow the things of the world to distract Him from the mission He was on. He didn’t give in to temptation. Even when Satan offered Him the kingdoms of the world if He would only bow to the devil, Jesus refused. 

He kept His eyes on the cross. Over and over again, He repeated, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38 ESV).

Dear TCK, do you know what your purpose on earth is? Are you pursuing it with single-minded dedication? Or have you allowed the things of the world to distract you? 

Remember that you were placed on this earth for one purpose – to glorify your Father in heaven. Life is fleeting. You only have a short time to reach lost souls for Christ and make a difference in this life. 

So seek to put the distractions of this world out of your mind. Keep your eyes on the end goal, on Jesus, on your future home and reward in heaven.

Because those are the things that will ultimately last.

3. Jesus served others selflessly.

His whole purpose in coming to earth was to serve others. “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many,” Mark 10:45 ESV says.

He spent hours out under the hot sun teaching and healing the poor, sick, and outcasts until He was so tired He fell asleep on a boat during a storm. Jesus gave every part of Himself joyfully and selflessly, without holding back. He gave His energy, His time, and ultimately, His very life for these people. For you and me.

What if Jesus has called you to this life as a global nomad so you can reach the desperate souls around you? So you can be a light on a hill to those lost in discouragement and hopelessness? What if His plan is for you to be a testimony of God’s goodness and love and grace to others?

How would that change how you view your life, both its blessings and hardships?

Your Mission

God’s specific plan for your life isn’t going to look quite like mine or anyone else’s. But what God has commanded each one of us as believers is to live life joyfully, to keep our eyes on the cross, and to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19 ESV). We, as global nomads, are to be ambassadors for Christ everywhere we go.

As Jesus shows us, a true ambassador for Christ embraces his mission with joy, dedication, and selflessness. You have a unique opportunity to use your life experiences to reach those around you, and even people halfway across the globe, with the hope of Christ. 

Will you take that opportunity, pick up your cross with joy and follow Him? Will you look for ways to bless those around you?

God has a beautiful destiny in mind for you, dear TCK. A destiny for your good and God’s glory. Embrace it and watch in amazement at what He does with your life!

TCKs for Christ: Writer & Social Media Manager

Kristianne Hassman

is an MK from South Africa and has called Africa her home for the past 15 years. As a writer, she seeks to use her gifts to encourage other TCKs that they are not alone. Besides writing, she enjoys reading voraciously, playing piano and violin, and helping with her family’s ministry. You can connect with her at Whimsical Wanderings or on Instagram, @KristianneHassman_Author.

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