Christ Exemplified ... Justice
November 1, 2002 - "He will proclaim justice to the nations."(1) Matthew 12:18, NIV
by Jay Alan Sekulow
From the beginning of His earthly ministry Jesus demonstrated a passion for justice. It was a justice that focused on compassion, not revenge. It was flavored with mercy and love, and it embraced the downtrodden, the poor and the oppressed.
Jesus clearly outlined the focus of His ministry at the synagogue in Nazareth: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed."(2)
At the heart of Jesus' ministry is the message of salvation. There is no greater justice than the promise of eternal life for all people made possible by a loving God who offered His Son, Jesus, to a world deeply in need of justice.
Jesus exemplified justice by bringing into the Kingdom of God those who had been the outcasts of society—like the Samaritan woman at the well and Zacchaeus the tax collector.
In a world where the dispensation of justice is left to our legal system, we must never lose sight of the ultimate justice offered through a relationship with Jesus Christ. The pursuit of justice also is an individual matter. There is a biblical road map to show Christians how to pursue justice, summed up by the Prophet Micah: "What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."(3)
As Christians, we need to exemplify a concern for justice in our daily lives. We need to follow Jesus' example by displaying mercy, love and kindness in a world filled too often with hate and evil.
Is someone facing racial or religious discrimination? Is someone being ignored or taken advantage of? Is someone being mistreated? What can we do to help?
In our society there are many avenues available to fight injustice, including law enforcement and the courts. For Christians, though, there is another powerful weapon in the fight against injustice—the Body of Christ. As Jesus instructed during His Sermon on the Mount, Christians are the "salt of the earth"(4) and the "light of the world."(5) Christians can make a difference in the battle against injustice. Stand ready to help. Reach out. Take a chance. And never forget that the most powerful and effective way to fight injustice is to help to discover the life-changing message of hope found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.