Read Mt 7.1-6, Lk 6.37-42
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged.
Jesus makes it clear that the way we treat people is the way we will be treated.
This is not only an amazing statement as it refers to self-preservation but also has implications for how to teach others to live. Our natural bent when offended is to require justice; that the wrong be righted. This is especially true when we are personally affected. We require some restorative or punitive action for the wrong committed. That would be justice. Jesus, on the other hand, asks His disciples to absorb such an offense and apply mercy and grace. Jesus Himself was the perfect model of absorbing wrongs for the sake of the Kingdom (Luk 23:34). However, the principle goes deeper than our actions toward others; it has a direct connection to how others will treat us (both by men and by God, Luk 6:31, Mt 18:35). Acting like Jesus has great personal value. When we are compassionate, we receive compassion. When we are merciful, we receive mercy. On the other hand, if we demand justice, that is exactly what we will receive (and I doubt anyone standing before the Righteous Judge of mankind will demand justice rather than mercy for their own personal deeds).
Teaching others to have this attitude in them is easy enough but seeing them live it out is another thing (Phil 2.5-8). This gets at the core of who the disciple really is. Their character is challenged as they scratch and scrape for fair treatment. The way of the Master is to absorb such affliction and then forgive (1 Pet 2.21-24). Certainly, there is room for correction but not retaliation (Rom 12.17-21). True transformation is seen when a disciple begins to trust God for the outcomes and respond as Jesus would. The Old Covenant way leaves plenty of room for personal justice (Exo 21:24). The New Covenant way leaves plenty of room for Jesus (Mt 5.38-48).
Today we talked about individual justice in light of Jesus’ way, next time, corporate justice…
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