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Justice, Jesus, and the Kingdom - Grace United Church

Like a good parent, Our God knows how to keep it simple. Only 3 things on God’s list of “to dos” for me today.

I can remember that.

  1. Do justice.
  2. Love mercy.
  3. Walk humbly with God.

I can focus on that.

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

ESV (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Micah 6:8

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In the New Testament, Yeshua [Jesus] extends the Torah even further in terms of justice. He states, “Do not think I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets [i.e., the commands of God]; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill” (Matt 5:17 NASB). The fulfillment of the law and the prophets may be interpreted as Jesus’ authority to administer divine justice.

Jesus continually contrasts strict, external adherence to the law with an inner spirit of justice. Although it is just for a murderer to be put to death, Jesus says that anger is just as bad as murder. Likewise, a true spirit of generosity is not boastfully giving the minimum amount, but rather secretly giving whatever, one is able to give.

Jesus equates justice with generosity to the poor through the parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus also says that it is difficult for wealthy people to enter the kingdom of heaven.

We cannot begin to understand God’s justice unless we first understand sin. Sin is lawlessness and iniquity. It embodies everything contrary to God’s holy nature and is offensive to Him. Thus, sin is a crime against God, and justice demands a penalty of death and separation from Him for it. But God sent His Son, Jesus the Messiah, to earth to pay that penalty for us and made salvation available to all who believe in His name.

Good News: Jesus has delivered us and saved us. While we deserve justice, we find mercy in His love when we repent.

The prophet Micah reminds us that, despite God’s zero-tolerance toward our sin, He is also ready and waiting to forgive and restore those who repent. Even in the midst of strong warnings to Judah, Micah includes the hope that God will relent on the promised judgment if they will turn from evil. He ends his book with this thought: “He will again have compassion on us; He will vanquish our iniquities. You will cast out all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).

Bonus Content: Check out this supplemental content about “Is God’s Justice Impartial?”. It adds context to this article. If you like it, please consider subscribing to the channel on YouTube.