Beyond Justice

Tuesday, Apr. 4                            

God is just and since we are made in the image of God, we all have a sense of justice.  But like every other good trait that comes from God, it’s skewed by sin.  For one thing we are more concerned about justice for ourselves than justice for others.  We also tend to over react, especially when we are on the receiving end of an injustice.  When I get hit, I want to hit back—harder.  Jesus dealt with this in Mt. 5:38-39.  “You have heard that it was said, ‘eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’  But I tell you:  Do not resist an evil person.”  His listeners would know immediately that he was referring to the principle of retaliation as given in the Mosaic Law.  The Law taught that retribution should be limited to something that is equal to the original wrong.  One eye for one eye; one tooth for one tooth.  To the Jews of Jesus’ day, that was pure justice.  But Jesus proclaimed a new and higher standard:  “Do not resist an evil person,”—meaning that we are not to retaliate at all.  And Jesus didn’t stop there.  We are also to “turn the other cheek” (willingly accept further injustice) and “go the extra mile” (repay evil with good).  That is a monumental change.  It’s no wonder that the Jews were astonished with Jesus’ teaching!

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