Isaiah 42:3b-4a In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on Earth.
We all have different ideas about justice and what it actually means. For some people, justice implies getting even with someone who wronged them. For others, it can mean making someone pay excessive damages and full reparations for a disappointment, mistake, or tragedy. Justice can also involve giving equal rights to those who have been marginalized by society, or degraded by our culture. It is also sought by those who are impoverished or oppressed throughout the world, where injustices are perpetrated by people in power. In fact, all across the Earth, billions of people are constantly seeking justice, human rights, and equality.
Isaiah’s prophecy in chapter 42 has been interpreted as a foretelling of the Messianic role Christ was to fulfill seven hundred years later. Jesus would become the Chosen Servant of God who entered the world to right all wrongs, bring justice to the powerless, and restore the dignity of God’s people who had been oppressed by the Romans. After His Resurrection and Ascension, He would be revered as the Judge of the entire Earth, who would ensure that the wicked are finally brought to justice and that the poor are exalted above all others in the future Heavenly Kingdom.
As Christians, we are called to follow Christ, so the seeking and supporting of justice should be a key part of how we apply our faith. If we use our religion to lord it over other people, we have maligned Christ’s ministry. If, however, we focus on the equal rights of all people and see justice as a main emphasis of Christ’s teaching, then we will positively and effectively witness to God’s love and Christ’s grace. In other words, Justice and Jesus are fully entwined; you can’t have one without the other. You can’t serve Jesus without seeking Justice.
Questions for personal reflection
Where do I see injustice in my community? How can Christ’s Church seek and support justice for my community?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the Savior of the World, who brings good news to the poor and justice to the oppressed. Help us, as Your followers, to pursue justice in our communities and around the world. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment or ask questions about today’s message, please send an email to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is one of John’s drawings for Trinity Sunday. It’s called the ‘Triune Heart of the Universe.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: Heart.