Love, Joy, Peace...
Social Justice - Part II

Continued from Card 1....

Jesus & Social Justice

Return to Luke 4 - Jesus announces his ministry

Did Jesus ever talk about social justice?

The only time we have recorded him mentioning justice is…

Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

-Israelite leaders addressing Israelite treatment of Israelites

Luke 18:1ff - Parable of he widow and the unjust judge

-Not about injustice…it is about prayer!

-That is it….

Jesus never addresses…

-Political oppression and violence of the Roman Empire 

Luke 13:1 - Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.

-Exploitative practices of the Roman Empire 

Matthew 5:41 - If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 

Luke 3:12-13 - Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”

“Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.

-Improper policing practices of the Roman Empire

Luke 3:14 - Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”

He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”

-Poverty and wealth distribution

Mark 14:7 - The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want.

-Social problems including homelessness, hunger or medical improvements

Luke 9 - Feeding of the 5000 - Not poverty! Seeking Jesus until they ran out of food!

Social problem of racism…except in his disciples!

Mark 7 - “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

Even when they try to drag him into it…

“Should we pay taxes to caesar?”

-He brings it back to what matters, our relationship with God

What about Acts???

Acts 2:45 - They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.

Acts 4:32-37

-Fulfilling of Leviticus 19

Acts 3:1-6

-Wait! What? Silver and gold you do not have????

-They did not set up a resource for all people

-They took care of the disciples

Acts 6:1 -  In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.

-Again, fulfilling Leviticus 19!

I Timothy 5:3-10

5:3 - Discern real need, i.e. no family to help her

5:9 - Over 60 years old

5:9-10 - A strong disciple

Galatians 6:10

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Again…the Old testament, Jesus and the New Testament Church were all focused on establishing social justice in how God’s people treat God’s people

Why is this important?
1. Unnecessary Guilt Avoided - Christians shouldn't feel the weight of fixing all of the injustice the world.
2. Frustration Avoided - Trying to get people who do not hold to God's standard to do so is frustrating ad defeating.
3. Maintains Unity In The Church - Different people have different opinions on what the most pressing social issues are.
4. Keeps Church Correctly Focused - The church has limited time, energy and resources which must be clearly aligned with Jesus's clear priorities.

Application for KVC:
1. Freedom for Disciples to Focus on What Is Important To Them - Feel free to engage in areas of Social justice important to you.
2. Engage With Humility & Respect For Other Disciples - Understand others and the church may not see or engage in social issues the way you do and respect their right to have their opinion without judging them.
3. Ensure Justice In The Fellowship - The Biblical passages must be applied to our fellowship where we care for the poor, the victims and the vulnerable. 
4. Maintain Focus On Jesus's Mission - Which we will discuss in the next few weeks!

-Let's be completely unified on God's heart for justice among His people and pray for the politics and social concerns around us.
-Let's engage as our hearts are moved without expecting or judging other disciples for their perspectives and engagement.
-Let's clearly be unified and devote all of our heat and energies to the mission Jesus has clearly laid our for his in the KVC!
Kanawha Valley Church
1565 Smith Road, Charleston, WV 25314
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