Jesus and Justice

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“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they challenge be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:9-10

“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” Matthew 5:38-39

These three quotes all come from the “Sermon on the Mount,” one of Jesus’ most famous discourses. That section of Scripture begins in Matthew 5:1-2 with the introduction, “And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:”

We sometimes forget who these words are for- they are not for the crowds, but for the disciples. These words about righteousness are for those who are standing on the outside looking in, but for those who are on the inside looking out.

Jesus calls followers of God into postures of peacemaking, righteousness, reconciliation, and forgiveness. How might those postures affect how we live out our roles in bringing justice in this world?

We don’t have to turn far to see examples of injustice flooding our news outlets and social media pages. Jesus’ words challenge us to respond with postures that might not be our first instincts...

When I feel offended, do I move toward peacemaking?

When I see oppression, do I think about whether a brother or sister may have something against me before I think of the goodness of my own actions?

When I feel I have been wronged, do I turn my other cheek?

How might holding the humble postures Jesus calls us to be the first step towards bringing the justice so many of us long for?

On October 29, the 40 Orchards monthly Thematic Scripture Circle will be focused on Jesus and Justice. This Scripture Circle is taught in the method you are used to, beginning with a check in question with each person in the room that guides where we go, and continuing through conversation and questions where we learn from one another as we dig in. The difference is we know ahead of time a bit more about what where we will go, and everyone coming into the room has an interest in that topic.

Can you join us? Will you bring your voice to this conversation? With the current state of our nation and world, it felt like a good theme for us to wrestle through together.