Focus on Others
The religious leaders around Jesus appeared to be very concerned with upholding their institutions and rules, until their economic interests should become involved (a sheep fell into a pit). So we learn what they were really most concerned about: themselves!
Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath over their objection sand later healed all who came to him. He was intensely aware of other’s needs.He knew that a man with a withered hand not only suffered physically, he couldn’t work and support a family so that they suffered too. Jesus cared about suffering people, knew what he could do to alleviated their suffering, and did it. Matthew quotes Isaiah (Matthew 12:9-13) where Isaiah says God’s servant will proclaim justice. Jesus is doing justice! To care about all of God’s people, to know their needs, to do your share to alleviate their suffering, not to be focused on yourself—this is the justice to which we have been called.
–Dr. Mitzi Minor
- How aware do you think you are of the needs in your church,community and country?
- Do you assume that everyone who speaks of justice means the same thing? Do you know that the biblical concept of justice and that of the American judicial system are very different? Do you know what the difference is?
- What is the most blatant injustice you’ve encountered or seen on the news lately? How did it make you feel?
- What just actions have you undertaken lately?
How Do I Act?
- Justice is one of the most significant themes in scripture.The Bible affirms that God is just and that God’s people are called to do justice. Plan a special study of biblical justice.
- Invite members of a church similar to yours from a church whose ethnic make-up is different from your own to share a meal with you. Ask about their perceptions of justice and the world around them, and about their needs. Share your own. Stress the need to listen to one another.
- Develop a strategy to increase your awareness of injustice in your community. Discuss as a church ways that you can be God’s servants and proclaim justice in these circumstances of injustice.
- How just is your personal lifestyle? For the next month keep close tabs on every dollar you spend. At the end of the month ask yourself some hard questions like: What do you spend the most money on? How much of this is frivolous and wasteful? From what companies do you buy products—do they respect the environment, discriminate against minorities or women, give to charity, etc?