7 Things the Bible Teaches About Justice 1. And so, this idea claims, Jesus didn’t care much about the physical realm of this world. So, justice in this world didn’t matter to Jesus. Jesus taught his followers that those who live good lives and follow his teachings will be rewarded with eternal life in God’s kingdom. He was not God. Psalm 24:1 states, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”. Jesus obeyed God unto death and became sin so that sinful men might be counted righteous. Jesus emphasized restorative justice, not punitive justice. As Obrey Hendricks states in his book, The Politics of Jesus, “That is why what seems to have been simply a burst of outrage against wayward merchants was in reality much, much more: it was a very public attack aimed at Israel’s center of power. In this sense, Jesus is saying that those who hunger and thirst for a better relationship with God will be filled. This post is part two in a series in which I "unpack" the General Rule of Discipleship. Of course, these teachings are not limited to Jesus. And so the question is, “What belongs to God?” The answer is everything. The thing that mattered to Jesus more than anything else is that you repent of your sins so that you can go to heaven when you die. Those were the methods of the Kingdom of Herod and the Kingdom of Rome. That claim is an act of political subversion. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. For Jesus, justice was meant to provide restoration. Jesus emphasized restorative justice, not punitive justice. A fox was an unclean animal that was a second rate predator. Let’s look at the Sermon on the Mount. He says, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s and to God the things that are God’s.” Many point to this story to claim that Jesus wasn’t concerned with justice and that he was apolitical. In addition to the newsletter, you will receive the free "Am I Scapegoating?" When we refuse to take the side of the marginalized, the victims of human society, we attempt to wash our hands, just like Pilate when he sentenced Jesus to be killed. Justice. But, really, I can't find many resources on the issue. Emphasizing righteousness with God, as opposed to justice for marginalized, would allow the King’s power structure to go unquestioned. 46). After all, they assume that the Emperor and God are leaders of two different realms – the Emperor was in charge of the physical realm and God was in charge of the spiritual realm. But what does belong to the emperor? David made some major mistakes (Bathsheba, among others), but he also governed over one of the most prosperous times in Israel’s history. Church Life, Practical Justice, Theology 117 Jesus was a social justice hero. They were also taught by the Buddha, Confucius and Aristotle. 14 Jesus did more than teach about love. You might be wondering if the King James Version of the Bible had a vested interest in translating dikaiosune as “righteous.” Translators always have an agenda, whether that agenda is conscious or not. Furthermore, the Bible supports the notion of social justice in which concern and care are shown to the plight of the poor and afflicted (Deuteronomy 10:18; 24:17; 27:19). In fact, “all his ways are justice” (Deuteronomy 32:4). For Jesus, justice was meant to provide restoration. He exposed the evil of racial prejudice by fellowshipping with Samaritans and Gentiles, and He even praised them in His teachings. Christians need to interpret the concept of justice through the eyes of Jesus. Jesus even called Herod a fox, which was not a term of endearment! The purpose of this “Christ vs. Christianity” column is to show how many churches and individuals who profess the name of Christ teach and practice things that are directly contrary to what Jesus Christ actually taught. If you would judge Jesus Christ by some of those who profess to follow Him, you might think that Jesus would be an advocate of individuals’ expression of disdain and even hatred toward their enemies and of nations’ r… To be just is to love. He was not just concerned about our spiritual lives. Herod oversaw an unjust economy that benefited himself and his friends, while leaving the people destitute. Jesus [ mission on earth in his time is our mission on earth in our time. The New Testament claims that Jesus was the true king, the true Messiah. But what is justice, exactly, and who gets to define it? Sex Trafficking: the Story of a Young Girl, the Problem of a Generation. He boldly spoke out against inequality, helped the oppressed, condemned the … Only the authoritative voice … When Jesus says to give to God what is God’s he is making a political statement. 114, emphasis in the original.). Righteousness emphasizes our spiritual state of being. Rooted in both scripture and the rich tradition of our faith, Catholic Social Teaching is a guide for how to live as a people of justice and mercy. 15 First, Jesus scrupulously avoided committing any injustice. But Jesus was a different kind of King. That is, Jesus should be our interpretive principle for what justice looks like. In the original Greek, the word righteousness is dikaiosune. The Bible’s teaching on justice is much more comprehensive than simply punishing the wrongdoer. For you can’t seek righteousness with God without seeking justice with other people. Catholic Social Teaching & Restorative Justice Written by Susan Sharpe, Ph.D. and adapted for Catholic Mobilizing Network. No, because dikaiosune can be translated with another word: justice. Jesus Christ and Social Justice Perhaps the most profound statement of Our Lord, linking the Incarnation with the welfare of humanity is: “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.”(John 10:10) Every Christian and person of good will can look to Jesus, especially because he says: „I am the light of the world; anyone who follows me will not be walking Jesus indicated that the Kingdom would do away with the greatest injustice by sanctifying, or making holy, the name of Jehovah God and clearing it of all the reproach that Satan has heaped upon it since the rebellion in Eden. He sided with the poor, the weak, and the marginalized. The Temple was not just about religion and spirituality. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. In Jesus code, to love is to be just. When Christians look at justice, Jesus should be our interpretive principle. He lived “the law of the Christ.” It was embodied in his life course. In other words, Jesus cared about justice. Many assume the Kingdom is merely an otherworldly spiritual realm where you go after you die. Once we slow down, we can see the way desire, imitation, and conflict operate in our lives and in the world, and begin to create peace. When we interpret justice through the eyes of Jesus, we begin to realize that a right relationship with God demands just relationships with one another. The transition from the strict justice of the Mosaic Law to the mercy of “forgive thy enemies” in the teachings of Jesus sheds light on the glory of the Incarnation, which we are celebrating in a special way during these Christmas days, as well as on our participation in the life of Christ in the Sacrament of Penance. Conclusion. Following the King James Version, most English translation of the Greek text translate Matthew 5:6 as. It begins with the Beatitudes (Mt. No Comments. Based on these teachings, Jews have regarded the practice of justice and the seeking of a just society as Divine imperatives. Our weekly newsletter creates a space to take a breath. And we realize that God’s justice is not about revenge. Like Jesus who recognized differences, we need to reach out to all people without distinction as to economic status, ethnicity, or gender. I was doing some research this afternoon about how to teach kids about justice from a Christian perspective. The claim runs like this: Jesus only cared about your eternal soul. Jesus taught His disciples and, through the Word of God, teaches us how to live and then how to share with others the way to become His followers. Because while the general statement is true, Jesus took sides. That is, Jesus should be our interpretive principle for what justice looks like. The phrase “Kingdom of God” is problematic because it has been overly spiritualized, just like the word dikaiosune. But there is a problem. The study's aim is to show that God wants our hearts, not just our words. If you know of any, let me know! God expects that justice be at the center of his covenant people. He confronted the status quo of his day as he took sides. Romans 12:15-18 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. What really mattered to him is that you have eternal life in the next world. Thus says the Lord, “Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. In an act reminiscent of the Jewish prophets who routinely criticized the political, economic, and religious establishments for not enacting God’s justice, Jesus went to the Temple and attempted to shut it down because it failed to enact God’s justice. It’s about the transformation of unjust societal structures so that all people can live in harmony, prosperity, and peace. Jesus was concerned about this world. Jesus does not call us to stay above the fray in a state of neutrality. Luke 18:1-8: Jesus teaches His disciples to always pray and never lose heart. The translators of the KJV translated for a king. Treat Your Parents Justly. Because especially in the United States, justice is associated with revenge. As a good Jew, and as his hearers were good Jews as well, they would have known that Jesus’ teaching to give to God what belongs to God was deeply rooted in the Hebrew scriptures. Consider three ways in which Jesus’ example made clear what justice is. Even more, the claim of kingship while Herod was king was an act of political treason. What Jesus stood for and the Bible teaches is justice—pursuing what is right according to what God says not what society and people say (Micah 6:8). During the time of Jesus, the Temple was the religious, political, and economic center of Jerusalem. The people longed for a son of David to come and set things right – to bring justice to the nation. It is here. First, some Christians say that social justice is a perversion of the Gospel, and that rather than seek to engage in social justice issues, we should instead just preach the Gospel. 5:3-12), in which Jesus delineates the categories of people he says enjoy special favor.The Beatitudes are all familiar to us as sayings, the best known being blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. He did not deserve their ultimate loyalty. The lesson explores Jesus Teachings about Justice and hypocrisy. The Emperor is not God. The emperor used his status as a god to justify and enforce his will in unjust ways. The phrase “all people” is significant. "Justice" is a felt need in our world today and a controversial topic. But once again, that misses the whole point. He was concerned about every aspect of our lives – including our political, religious, and economic lives. It is now. When we hear the phrase “Justice was served,” we think punishment was meted out. The study's application is to think and act according to God’s Word and His justice, not man’s. by Christian Education | Jun 17, 2018 | Jesus Teaches about Justice. And that side is always with the marginalized. Jesus called Herod a fox because Jesus cared about the unjust political systems of his day. (Adapted from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator Commentary) But that is a gross misreading of Jesus. In other words, it was an overtly political act” (pg. PBS Teachers has a website on justice activity ideas that I found helpful. In fact, all wise people who know the path to peace teach the very same things. This matters because a right relationship with God (righteousness) should lead to right relationships with other people (justice). T he sermon on the mount has long been rightly understood as both a starting-point and a summation of Jesus ’s teaching. God’s Kingdom would promote true justice. "You don't have His word living in … The Temple had become corrupt and unjust. And when we claim to follow Jesus, we are disciples of justice. Justice is central to God’s character. It is only because of Christ’s obedience to suffer injustice that we have an advocate before God and the forgiveness purchased by His blood. The Temple was as much a political and economic institution as it was a religious institution. The “justice” for which Jesus calls his followers to thirst in the beatitudes (Matthew 5:6) speaks of life, of reconciliation, the restoration of relationships with God and with one another (same as the “justice” the Old Testament links with peace and steadfast love). Education Director, UCC pastor, husband, father of three, preaching the love of Jesus and one another, Join our weekly journey of creating peace, Aaron Rodgers: Why I Hate His Football, But Love His Theology, How Forgiveness Can Transform Our Violence and Build a World of Belonging, Toxic Christianity: 3 Things We Can Do That Will Make Jesus Cry, How to Respond to President Trump’s Blasphemy: Raven Values for Times of Crisis. We could just as easily translate Matthew 5:6 as. Jesus and social justice according to Luke Hanson and Oakman (1998) mentioned that the ruling elites during Jesus’ era sought out the backing of … Rather, they wanted a translation that would inspire reverence for those in power. As the biblical revelation of God makes its first climax in the Mosaic... 2. Some will point to the scene where Jesus was asked about paying taxes. God’s call to holiness is based on his own... 3. Otherwise, maybe I … Jesus also exposed the inhumanity of certain religious rules, which was a political problem in the first century because religious leaders had political power. In fact, the phrase, “Kingdom of God” is politically loaded language. Jesus’ justice was very real, but it was based on the methods of direct nonviolent action and non-retaliation. He does not deserve your ultimate loyalty. It is crucial that we keep this double meaning of dikaiosune in mind. You will never be filled with the Kingdom of God if you just emphasize one over the other. Powered by Knownhost and the Genesis Framework. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place. So Jesus cleansed the Temple by making a whip and protesting its corruption. The vested interest, or the agenda, was to translate the Bible in such a way that did not inspire the people to act with justice. Jesus was also called “the Son of David.” David was the most important king in Israel’s history. Jesus lives right and makes life right with others. e-book when you subscribe. They say that no amount of helping people will transform society and bring justice to the world, unless it is first founded upon Jesus Christ. Jesus, not the Bible, is God's living and active Word that brings life. There was no “separation of church and state” during this time. A life following Jesus will bring us to the most difficult corners of the world, ministering in deed and with his Word to those encountering the greatest suffering and marginalization. Jesus says, “For, in fact, the Kingdom of God is among you.” The Kingdom of God is not primarily an other worldly spiritual realm. Jesus Teaches about Justice June 17, 2018 Background Scripture: Matthew 15:1 – 9; Mark 7:1 – 13 Lesson Passage: Matthew 15:1 – 9 Today’s lesson presents one of the many confrontations between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders recorded in the gospel accounts. June 17: Jesus Teaches About Justice (Matthew 15:1-9) By Jim Eichenberger June 12, 2018 Teacher Tips. For you can’t seek righteousness with God without seeking justice with other people. But that misses the point. justice mark the events of his days and nights. It is among you. Jesus always had a counter for their legalistic perspectives. Jesus statement put the Emperor in his place. We are not to show favouritism (James 2:8-9). The Bible teaches that God is a God of justice. Jesus said that they nullified (brought to nothing) the command of God for the sake of their tradition. “Scripture plus” or “Scripture minus” is no good. For blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be filled. Key Verse: “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.”. Jesus Teaches about Justice. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be filled. Christians need to interpret the concept of justice through the eyes of Jesus. He only cared about the spiritual realm, or the Kingdom of God. But that’s not the justice that Jesus taught. His form of justice did not involve methods of violence or war to defeat an enemy. As René Girard states in his book Violence and the Sacred, Our “impartiality-at-any-price is not unfrequently simply an unsubstantiated assertion of superiority” (pg. That word can be translated as righteousness, which has strong connotations of having a right relationship with God. There are many Christians who claim that Jesus didn’t care about politics or justice. The Emperor thought he was a god. But Jesus calls us to take sides in the nonviolent pursuit of justice. 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