“This is what the LORD says: “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.” Isaiah 56:1
In the beginning stages of my “how do I live justly” journey, I attended a school focused on justice, mercy, and God’s heart for the world. Part of what we did there was examine what “justice” really is. We contrasted the world’s definition of justice with scriptures that speak of it, a thought-provoking study which I highly recommend.
I don’t remember all the scriptures, all the discussions, but one core concept took root in my heart: Jesus is Justice. If you look at justice in scripture, you will see it interconnected and almost interchangeable with the word righteousness. What is righteousness? Well, we often link it to right behavior, but it really means right standing with God. Jesus is the one that brings us into that right place. Jesus is the way for us to be “just-ified,” made right, and to begin that journey of “just-ified” living. So when I think about justice today, and grapple with what it looks like in different contexts, I always hear this statement in my head, “Justice is whatever brings someone to Jesus.” That idea starts to change everything.
I haven’t been blogging much recently because I’ve thrown myself into another school in a land far, far away. It doesn’t claim to be a justice school, but I’m beginning to realize that it is. Although we are studying music and spending hours in band rehearsal and song writing, the driving passion for all of it is that people would encounter Jesus. At the end of three months we will be travelling to a major city in the Western world that is hugely influential in the realm of international business, among other things. We are praying every week for that city; I am praying for transformation in the business center. You see, if people understand who God is, justice will start to happen. If someone in business gets God’s vision for their life and puts God at the center of their business ethics, things will start to shift. If more university students and young people get God’s heart for the world, they won’t be content to leave things as they are. The western world desperately needs more “Jesus People,” people who know God and live like Jesus. And so my justice journey continues, albeit in a slightly different form.
“Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, til he leads justice to victory.” Matthew 12:18, 20