No Justice, No Peace

Luke 11:1-13 NLT

1     Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

2     Jesus said, “This is how you should pray: “Father, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon.

3     Give us each day the food we need,

4     and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation.”

5     Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him,

6     ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’

7     And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’

8     But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.

9     “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

10   For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

11   “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead?

12   Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not!

13   So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

Luke 18:1-8 NLT

1     One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.

2     “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people.

3     A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’

4     The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people,

5     but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”

6     Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge.

7     Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?

8     I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”

Luke 16:19-24 NIV19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

Matthew 25:41-43 NIV41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

Deuteronomy 16:19-20 NIV19 Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. 20 Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.

I. The Request for Justice

Proverbs 31:8-9 MSG8 “Speak up for the people who have no voice, for the rights of all the down-and-outers. 9 Speak out for justice! Stand up for the poor and destitute!”

A. The man at midnight is seeking redistributive justice.

1 John 3:16-17 NLT16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?

Luke 11:3 NIV – Give us each day our daily bread.

Luke 3:10-11 CEV10 The crowds asked John, “What should we do?” 11 John told them, “If you have two coats, give one to someone who doesn’t have any. If you have food, share it with someone else.”

James 2:14-17 MSG14 Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? 15 For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved 16 and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? 17 Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

Micah 6:8 NIV – He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Mercy is acting compassionately towards the poor on a personal level.

Justice is eliminating public policies that made them poor in the first place.

  • Fate
  • Failure
  • Fault
  • Fairness

B. The widow is seeking reparative justice.

Luke 20:46-47 NLT46 “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. 47 Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be severely punished.”

“The United States is in a bitter battle over American history and how we ought to publicly remember the past.”

Eddie Glaude Jr., Begin Again

Image

Narratives

Jim/Jane Crow

Urban renewal

Slavery

Terrorism

Incarceration

Cops and Courts

Exclusion

America is not color blind; America is history blind.

Being history blind makes us justice blind.

II. The Response to Justice

“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed…Justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail

Deuteronomy 15:4-6, 11-17 CEV4 No one in Israel should ever be poor. The Lord your God is giving you this land, and he has promised to make you very successful, if you obey his laws and teachings that I’m giving you today. 5 You will lend money to many nations, but you won’t have to borrow. 6 You will rule many nations, but they won’t rule you. 11 There will always be some Israelites who are poor and needy. That’s why I am commanding you to be generous with them. 12 Moses said to Israel: If any of you buy Israelites as slaves, you must set them free after six years. 13 And don’t just tell them they are free to leave—14 give them sheep and goats and a good supply of grain and wine. The more the Lord has given you, the more you should give them. 15 I am commanding you to obey the Lord as a reminder that you were slaves in Egypt before he set you free. 16 But one of your slaves may say, “I love you and your family, and I would be better off staying with you, so please don’t make me leave.” 17 Take the slave to the door of your house and push a sharp metal rod through one earlobe and into the door. Such slaves will belong to you for life, whether they are men or women.

The man’s call for redistributive justice was explained away.

The women’s claim for reparative justice was ignored.

III. The Requirements of Justice

“The system and politics respond to pressure not applause.”

Yvette Carnell

Philippians 3:8-9 MSG8 Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ 9 and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.

“Black people will never gain full equality in this country. Even those Herculean efforts we hail as successful will produce no more than temporary `peaks of progress, short-lived victories that slide into irrelevance as racial patterns adapt in ways that maintain White dominance.”

Derrick Bell, Faces at the Bottom of the Well

The radical paradigm in America is White domination, Black subordination.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.