The Righteous Justice of Jesus

When a righteous man occupies a position of authority, the people rejoice. ” (Prov. 29:6).

“To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” (Prov.21:3-14).

In a world where the concept of justice often seems skewed by human fallibility and societal biases, the person of Jesus Christ stands as the epitome of divine justice—pure, unwavering, and perfectly balanced. “Jesus: The Right Justice of God” delves into the profound understanding that Jesus embodies God’s perfect justice, which transcends human understanding and is rooted in divine righteousness. Through His teachings, actions, and ultimate sacrifice, Jesus reveals a justice that is restorative rather than merely punitive, aiming to reconcile and restore humanity to its intended relationship with God. 

Justice cannot be achieved without righteousness. Have you ever seen an artist complete a masterpiece and step back to declare, “That is perfect”, or a concert pianist flawlessly perform a musical piece? Consider the perfection seen in supercars or marvels of engineering. We are naturally drawn to perfection! Similarly, when God looks at us, His creation, He sees true perfection only when we are most Christlike. Don’t we say, ” He did that musical piece justice by playing it perfectly?”

Modern Quotes About Justice

“Being good is easy, what is difficult is being just.”

Victor Hugo

“Social justice is the center of Jesus’ life and gospel. He feeds those who are hungry. He defends those who are oppressed. He stands up for women’s rights. He loves the outcasts, the despised, the rejected, and the sinners. He calls on the rich and the powerful to give their money to the poor and provide for the needs of the powerless. ”

John Piper

“Equity does not mean that everyone gets the same. Fairness means everyone gets what they need. ”

Rick Riordan, The Red Pyramid.

A healthy society needs justice and the punishment of evil!

To think that Jesus never spoke about punishment is a serious misunderstanding and denial of a significant part of His message! Study any of these verses, and you will find many warnings of immanent judgment to those who do evil. (Matt 18:8; Matt 25:45-46; Joh 5:29; Matt 7:23; Matt 8:11-12; Matt 22:12-14; Matt 25:29-30; Matt 13:39-43.)

Humans have an inherent fear of punishment and try to avoid it at all costs. Public humiliation or being reprimanded in front of others for a mistake can cause deep pain and shame. Hearing your grades read aloud in class and realizing you performed the worst is a traumatic and soul-crushing experience.

One way to avoid this humiliation is to study harder and work diligently on your mistakes. Unfortunately, our culture and society do not always follow this path. We keep grades secret so that no one knows how others performed. We do this with national crime reports and almost every index that measures South Africa’s performance. We often avoid facing high standards because we know it requires significant effort to meet them.

An interesting study discussed by agnostic professor Jonathan Haidt in his provocative anti-liberal TED talk on the moral roots of modern society sheds light on this issue.[2] Haidt, an active liberal himself, acknowledges that religion has played a crucial role through the ages in warning people against immoral acts and their consequences. The study by Ernst Fehr and Simon Gächter aimed to determine the sustainability of social cooperation projects. In this study, each group of participants received money, which they could collectively invest in a project that would benefit the group.  In all these studies, enthusiasm and cooperation declined when individuals who did not contribute still wanted to receive the same benefits. People felt this was unfair and began to withdraw their goodwill and cooperation. However, when participants were allowed to punish those who did not pull their weight, using their own resources, sustainability and cooperation improved dramatically.[3]

Self-imposed judgement and punishment of evil.

Throughout history, various individuals and groups have taken it upon themselves to act as representatives of God, issuing earthly punishments in His name. Here are some notable examples:

  1. The Inquisition:
    • The Inquisition was a group of institutions within the Catholic Church tasked with combating heresy. Established in the 12th century, it became infamous for its use of torture and execution to enforce religious orthodoxy.
    • Source: Encyclopedia Britannica, “Inquisition” (https://www.britannica.com/event/Inquisition)
  2. John Calvin and the Theocracy of Geneva:
    • John Calvin, a key figure in the Protestant Reformation, established a theocratic government in Geneva, Switzerland. Under his rule, strict moral and religious laws were enforced, and dissenters could face severe punishments, including execution.
    • Source: History.com, “John Calvin” (https://www.history.com/topics/reformation/john-calvin)
  3. The Salem Witch Trials:
  4. The Spanish Reconquista and the Alhambra Decree:
    • During the Spanish Reconquista, Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile sought to unify Spain under Christianity. The Alhambra Decree in 1492 ordered the expulsion of Jews from Spain, under the belief that this would purify the nation religiously.
    • Source: Jewish Virtual Library, “The Alhambra Decree” (https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-alhambra-decree)
  5. The Taliban in Afghanistan:
    • In recent history, the Taliban have imposed a strict interpretation of Islamic law in Afghanistan. They claim to enforce God’s will through public punishments, including amputations and executions, for crimes such as theft and adultery.
    • Source: BBC News, “What is the Taliban’s ideology?” (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-south-asia-11451718)
  6. Woke Cancel Culture:

In constitutional democracies, the judiciary ensures justice through an impartial system based on the rule of law. Judges operate independently of political influence, guaranteeing fair and consistent application of laws. The system upholds due process, giving individuals the right to a fair trial, legal representation, and an unbiased tribunal. Additionally, checks and balances among government branches prevent abuse of power, while a bill of rights protects fundamental human rights and freedoms. These mechanisms collectively strive to administer justice fairly and protect individual liberties within a liberal, free society.

Nevertheless, despite their best efforts, this earthly Justice system does not always bring justice to all, and many have become disillusioned. This is maybe why some Hollywood movies try to fill the gap by at least offering entertainment that makes us feel better, like the Equalizer trilogy of films. Robert McCall (played by Denzel Washinton) is a very violent man. He kills people with ruthless, unerring efficiency, to the point where some have described past entries as a sort of reverse-horror film, wherein the unstoppable killer is the hero and the largely hapless criminal is the victim.

Is this also what we expect from God? “I will execute great vengeance on them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I lay My vengeance upon them.” ’ ” (Ezekiel 25:17)

Jesus is God’s Standard of Law: 

There is my Servant whom I support, my Chosen One in whom my soul delights. I laid my Spirit on Him; He will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or shout or make His voice heard on the street. He will not break the broken reed, nor put out the dull kernel; with faithfulness He will bring forth justice. ” (Isa. 42: 1-3).

He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Mat 3:11-12)

This Scripture was literally fulfilled in His death on the cross by Christ (Matt. 12:18), in that He took our guilt, injustice and sin upon Himself and served the death sentence for us so that we could be free. He is God’s justice! In other words, He is God’s most just standard of right living.

We are going to discuss a whole chapter on the Judgment of Christ. In that chapter, we will examine Judgment as the corrective, restorative process of God’s educational development of humanity. In this chapter, we want to determine the standard by which God judges and how He determines justice, as well as what is right and wrong.

Who is wrong and who is right – in God’s eyes?

Jesus is, hence, God’s measuring stick of who is right and who is wrong.

Early in Jesus’ ministry, it is determined that although Jesus warns of immanent eternal judgement one day, in this age, He wants us to judge with a righteous judgement: first, see the speck in your own eye before you judge (Mat 7:1-5); Love your enemies (Mat 5:38-48); even He did not come to judge. (Joh 3:17)

The fact that it is believed that Jesus did not come to judge speaks right into the heart of the JUSTICE Warriors activists’ agenda, who have decided the oppressed is the LGBTQA+ community and all black people, hence #BlackLivesMatter! More recently, the focus of man’s carnal justice is seen in worldwide anti-isreal, pro-Palestine protests. The main problem with these Justice wars is that the oppressed are elevated to sainthood (they certainly have done nothing wrong to deserve punishment), and the oppressor is seen as the monstrous evil villain! This cannot be GOD-KIND-OF-JUSTICE!

Jesus brings Righteous Justice for All:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He sent me to proclaim the release of the captives and to restore sight to the blind, to send the oppressed into freedom, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s grace. ” (Luke 4: 18-19).

All LIVES matter!
There are bad Jews and Palestinians! But there are also good Jews and Palestinians! This war in Israel is a very complicated and far-reaching battle that goes back centuries and, for the most part, is a battle of legitimacy! Both Israelis and Palestinians have seen the atrocities of war and suffered huge personal losses. God’s justice? Find ways to make peace and reconcile as good, righteous neighbours without any traces of the secret annihilation of the other! Retribution leads to more retribution – this war has to stop! See the first steps of individual Israeli and Palestinian making peace – A Palestinian and an Israeli, Face to Face | Aziz Abu Sarah and Maoz Inon | TED

God’s definition of who is poor:

  1. You are poor if you have not yet made peace with God. (Romans 5:1; Isaiah 48:22; John 14:27)
  2. You are poor if you do not value your birthright and God-given purpose. (Genesis 25:34; Hebrews 12:16-17)
  3. You are poor if you do not care for your family and are respected by them. (1 Timothy 5:8; Proverbs 22:1; Ephesians 6:2-3)
  4. You are poor if your community does not know of your value and goodness. (Matthew 5:16; Proverbs 3:3-4; 1 Peter 2:12)
  5. You are poor if you do not value the natural resources God has given you right there where you reside.(Genesis 2:15; Psalm 24:1; Deuteronomy 8:7-10)

Jesus did not have a separate agenda for poor people; he measured the wealth of the heart, not the bank account. He preached the GOSPEL to the POOR. (Matthew 11:2-5) Hence, Jesus did not hold the government responsible for the care of the poor: When the government intervenes on behalf of one population grouping, it is always at the expense of another grouping. Poverty alleviation, through the proclamation of the gospel and the cultivation of a proper lifestyle, is the responsibility of the Church (Matt. 25: 31-46; Acts 6: 1-7; Gal. 2: 1-10; 6:10 (Jas. 1:27). The truth litmus test of any religion is how they treat the poor!

God’s JUSTICE seeks and celebrates Righteousness and condemns SIN:

To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” (Prov. 21:3) NKJV.  

We live in a world of injustice, double standards, people’s word means nothing, everyone does what is right in his own eyes. Some Children suffer because of the absence of true, caring parents. People are broken, broken, disillusioned, bitter, hurt, and wronged because someone did not do RIGHT. The problem of injustice is a SIN problem, and sin is missing the mark/consciousness/identity/blueprint of Jesus Christ.

In other words, sin is injustice, wrongdoing, lawlessness and wickedness. We are all looking for justice!

The question is, whose right? Solomon specifically asked for wisdom to be able to give justice (1 Kings 3:11). Like his father, David, he wanted to do what was right (2 Sam. 8:15).

Biblical Foundations vs Contemporary Concepts

Biblical Foundations:

  • Justice: the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness: justice; fairness; justice, administration of justice.
  • Equity: the quality of being fair or impartial; fairness; impartiality: fairness, impartiality. (Lev. 19:15 and James 2: 4) See the Jesus’ Inclusivity  Chapter.

Worldy Illusions:

EqualityIs everyone equal in the Bible? No, not everyone is equal. Are they all the same? No, not everyone is the same. Look at creation. There is clear order. There are rulers, and there are followers. Both are important and essentially interdependent. See the wonder of an ant or bee colony: diversity in unity, but with a clear collective consciousness, as beautifully explained by Eugene Marais in his book The Soul of the Ant. 

There is no Hebrew word for “equality” – it is still a meaningless word that the Lord’s language does not recognize. Nothing is equal because equality does not exist. There are obligations. There are rules. There are systems nad merits. There is fair distribution of goods and wages and services, but this is not done according to any system of equality. Goods and services are bought with money, and money must be earned. You do not have any right to money. You have to earn it.”[1]

Rabbi Daniel Lapin

In Matthew 20, we read that the workers who worked just one hour earned the same as those who worked all day.  “Are you jealous because I’m generous?” (Matt. 20:15). 

The biblical way to achieve equality is through voluntary generosity. In the Church of Acts, everyone had everything in common, not because someone forced them, but because people turned their hearts to God and began to give voluntarily (Acts 2:44). One must also remember that this generosity was a work of the Holy Spirit in His church. The ideal of getting people to take care of the poor in any culture has been one of the most difficult things to do for generations!!!

Since Karl Marx wrote ‘Das Kapital,’ there has been much focus on economic justice. Marx believed that the wealth from selling goods should only reward the labour of the worker who made them. He also assumed that people originally shared everything equally, so he argued that private ownership should be reviewed to ensure workers get the full benefit of their labour. However, Marx did not account for the inherent sinfulness of human nature – greed and laziness.

There is no scripture in the Bible where poverty is the result of external factors.  Poverty is the result of two main reasons: 

  • laziness (Prov. 6: 6-11; 10: 4-5; 12:24; 22:13; 26:14) and 
  • greed, covetousness, materialism (Prov. 15:27; 28 : 8.25; 29: 4).

Both capitalism and socialism share the core problem of greed and laziness. Therefore, pure capitalism and socialism are not sustainable and have never worked through history. 

In The Road to Wigan Pier, George Orwell made a critical observation about socialists. He noted that while socialists claim to support the working class, many of them, particularly those from middle-class backgrounds, do not genuinely love the poor. Instead, they often harbour a strong resentment towards the rich.

In Africa, this power struggle repeats, with existing wealth merely changing hands instead of creating new wealth.

Multi-Culturalism: 

Multi culturalism is an illusion of trying to achieve the unity that is in the Church and body of Christ alone. The Bible has a clear recognition of each nation’s right to exist within the boundaries of their redemptive purpose. “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’.” (Acts 17: 26-28).

Surely, No human being should be judged or prejudiced because of race. Nevertheless, Trevor Phillips, head of the Equality Commission in England for 15 years, recounts in a recent documentary the serious shortcomings of the policy. Crime does not exist in isolation; it needs a community to feed on.  No person likes to be judged based on their colour or ethnicity.  But political correctness can go too far because police statistics clearly prove that certain criminal acts occur more among certain groups than others. Why, if certain injustices occur more among certain people, does that grouping not hold those offenders accountable themselves? Especially because the perpetrators give the grouping a bad name and manipulate the internal relations. Judgement always starts first in the house! (1 Pet. 4:17).

Non-racial:

Because of the pain and scale of misery caused by racism and ethnic xenophobic wars and the complete genocide of certain races, the world offers its solution – racial integration, mixing or racial recognition.

On the contrary, the Bible condemns adultery with gentile unbelievers (Deut. 7: 3; Josh. 23:12). Although gentiles were welcomed if they got circumcised and accepted the Jewish culture. (Genesis 17:12-14; Exodus 12:48; Leviticus 19:33-34; Deuteronomy 23:1-8; Ezekiel 44:9; Acts 15:1).

Christian Western-orientated Europe is now in trouble assimilating foreigners without them converting to the ways of the Christian Culture.

People marry cross-culturally but must accept the realities and difficulties regarding culture, education, socioeconomic values, and status differences. The Bible confirms and promotes communities of “mutuality” (mutual reciprocity and cooperation; good neighborliness).

But is is in the CHURCH only we see a new JESUS Culture where different races unite under the Lordship of Jesus. The NT church consists of Jews and non-Jews, Greeks and Barbarians, free and slave; rich and poor. Paul’s message is very clear: there is no more division and separation of race in Christ (Gal. 3:27; Eph. 2:15). He constantly addresses the factions in the church to come to unity (1 Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 13:11; Eph. 4: 3). Luke in the book of Acts emphasizes unity as the basis for supernatural encounters (Acts 1:14; 2: 1; 4; 24, 32; 5:12; 8: 6; 15:25). The church of the NT was not united by race, it was united around the person of Jesus Christ.  In Christ, we must all abandon our old lifestyle to embrace a new way of life in Christ, a new Christ culture.

Inclusivity – Inside and Out  The Bible’s definition of right and wrong, those who are righteous and those who are condemned, goes beyond mere deeds and lifestyle. There is a definite IN and OUT narrative regarding God’s plan of redemption with man: the Garden of Eden, the Ark, the Red Sea, the circumcision, marriage, the virgins, the sheep versus the goats, etc. These are all part of the inner accepted and rejected outer narrative. Obedience by faith and, according to the NT, is the definite question: are you clothed in Jesus’ righteousness? – this is the clear condition for inclusion. Those who are INSIDE form one family referred to as the body, church, bride, Zion, and new Jerusalem. The inclusion happens through rebirth (John 3:1-21), through faith in Christ’s perfect atoning work on the cross. Therefore, it is true that racial diversity can only take place IN the body of Christ because we are born of one Spirit and pray to one Father (Eph. 4:1-8).

Mutuality vs Capitalism or Socialism: 

The Biblical Model

  • contentment with food and clothing
  • work that is a blessing to all mankind
  • generosity
  • personal responsibility, and stewardship of that which has been freely received 
  • we will prosper and multiply what we have received (Matt.25: 15; Luke 19:11-28) 
  • not against wealth, but asks that wealth be used to do good and to serve mankind (1 Tim. 6: 17-19; James 2: 6-7; 5: 1-5)  “But he who has the goods of the world, and sees his brother in need, and shuts his heart to him, how does the love of God remain in him?” (1 John 3:17). 

Wealth will not get you to heaven, and one should not trust wealth. 

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, while his heart turns away from the LORD.” (Jer. 17: 5-6)

Jesus did not fight so that people would get things for free: 

Although the gospel was free, and Jesus fed the crowd and healed the sick without asking for any money, He never appealed to the government or the church for “ free handouts.” On the contrary, inherent in His ministry of healing is a personal command that the person had to carry out in faith: He said, “Take up your bed,” “Do you want to be well?”, “Go wash yourself,” and “Go show yourself to the priests.” God’s justice demands personal responsibility.

This is why the Bible is also clear that each person will stand judgment for their own lives (Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 12:36-37; Revelation 20:12; Ezekiel 18:20).

Work is not our punishment From God

Work is not a punishment but a way to be a personal blessing to mankind. Job fulfilment is the fountain of self-worth, identity, pride, health and general well-being. Every Jewish child is taught early on to work and do something that will make the world a better place. The Nobel Prize has already been awarded to 900 individuals, 20% of whom were Jews. This is remarkable when you consider that the Jews make up only 2% of the world population and have already been almost wiped out by their enemies several times. 

When people work hard, there is less time for evil and wrongdoing. A husband and wife who work hard together do not have time for extramarital affairs. Work is therapeutic. It makes you feel useful and humane. We were created to create and rule and multiply (Gen. 1:28).

Many people’s expectation and perception of work is that it is carnal, earthly, secular, anti-spiritual, a punishment and curse. Yet, when people retire and do not have to work, then they work more than ever. When we die, we say “rest in peace”, as if the person will never work for eternity. Jesus worked for 17 years before beginning His full-time ministry (from age 13 to 30).

As we follow Jesus, He teaches us His way and principles of living:

  • He gives us His grace to work
  • He works the fruit of the Spirit in our character. Our moral compass is changing direction: fidelity, honesty, truth, keeping your word, paying everyone their due, being a good steward, etc., become the new way of working. The fruit of the Spirit is Jesus’ character and attitude in us, our immortal richness and value: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, patience, gentleness/humility, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (self-control).
  • We are starting to rule! Romans 5:17 says, “reign in this life.” We overcome our weaknesses, bad habits, bad moods, and addictions. The blessing of God in our lives is not money and gold but the ability to reign in this life. 
  • Since the first day Jesus awakened our whole being, we become more and more like Him every day. He gives us the grace and cultivates in us the will and desire to act like Him, even if we do not always feel it.
  • Christ is God’s gift of love to us, but His life and action in and through us is our gift of love to God – our lifestyle of worship.

Do Not Moralize or Criminalize Wealth

By taxing the rich more, you discourage profitability. By threatening the rich, you drive them away and create fear. 

The oxygen that an economy needs to thrive is faith

  • You cannot liberate the economy through threats and violence, it creates fear, and fear is bad for the economy. 
  • Faith cannot exist in the presence of fear. Fear destroys faith, which is what causes markets to collapse. Some poor people are angry at rich people because they do not give or help. The Lord cannot bless bitterness, victim-mentality, anger, dissatisfaction, or entitlement. He blesses faith, which works in love and gratitude.

Biblical Accountability and Righteous Justice 

  • The righteous reward for work and services (Luke 10: 7; 1 Tim. 5:18) – pay your people what is right (Col. 4: 1).
  • EVERYONE needs to create jobs and add value. “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.” Ephesians 4:28:
  • Organic Spherical functional leadership structures vs pyramid ego-driven oppressive structures.
  • Protection of the inherent value (dignity) of each person as every human being was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27).
  • Ongoing investments in human capital and social capital (companies that invest in their people and their communities should get further encouragement, incentive and impetus in terms of tax rebates and BEE ratings that unlock even more funds.)
  • Shameless ethical work practices. Do right in business (Lev. 19:36; Deut. 25:15; Ezek. 18: 8, 9). “A righteous man walks in His integrity.” (Prov. 20: 7). Individual character and high moral standards are our testimony.
  • The Church’s role is to eliminate the unequal starting point between individuals and groupings through training and equipping. Every person should have the same sovereign withdrawal opportunity regarding family and education. We cannot choose who our parents are; we cannot choose our race or colour. We were born that way, nor can we choose our various inherent physical and intellectual abilities. We can only develop it further. The Church is called to develop and empower man, and businesses are called to be a blessing to mankind and, therefore, to make a profit. The Church offers good, hardworking people of strong character. The businesses offer the finances.
  • The role of government is not that of parents and educators. Primary educators are the parents, the church and then the school. The government’s role is to create and protect platforms, infrastructure and resources through good government through which people can assert themselves. Law enforcement protection is the primary role of government, without prejudice.
  • The righteous care for their animals (Prov. 12:10).
  • The righteous hate lies (Prov. 13: 5)
  • The righteous leave a legacy for their children (Prov. 13:22).

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?.” (Micah 6: 8).

Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yes, the Lord will give what is good; and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness will go before Him, and shall make His footsteps our pathway.” (Ps. 85: 11-13).

“‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice? In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure and exploit all your laborers. Indeed you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day to make your voice heard on high. Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?” (Isa. 58:3-7).

“You shall not pervert the judgment of your poor in his dispute.” (Ex. 23: 6).

“Use the right weights and measuring bowls so that you may enjoy a long life in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. People who cheat with dishonest weights and measuring bowls are despised by the LORD your God. ” (Deut. 25: 15-16). “You shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure, that your days may be lengthened in the land which the Lord your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who behave unrighteously, are an abomination to the Lord your God.” (Micah 6: 10-11).

“For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright. (Ps. 11: 7).

Respect authorities: Submit to authority (Rom. 13: 1-7; 1 Pet. 2: 13-17).

““You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the Lord your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment. You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” (Deut. 16: 18-20).

“If your righteousness is greater than that of the scribes and Pharisees.” (Matt. 5:20).

On the yardstick of justice, the Pharisees were at the very top of the list. Yet God seeks more radical justice: 

  • The rich young man kept everything in the Law, yet he could not obey and believe the Lord (Matt. 19: 16-22). Jesus is perfect radical justice. He overcame sin and death, He healed all diseases, and demons obeyed Him. 
  • He also wants to empower us with His supernatural righteousness (Isa. 45:24). 
  • Jesus is our deliverance, wisdom from God, and righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30).
  • Righteousness means godliness versus wickedness. Right versus wrong. 
  • Thus, when we receive His righteousness, we obtain His divine nature (Rom. 5:21; 2 Pet. 1: 4).
  • This glory is now permanent and not temporary in nature (2 Cor. 3: 9-18).

The righteousness that Jesus preaches is: 

  • reconciliation with your neighbor (Matt. 5:25)
  • against breach of contract with respect to divorce (Matt. 19:3-12)
  • your word is your word (Matt. 5:37)
  • against unrighteous judges (John 8:7)

[1] Daniel Lapin,  Business Secrets from the Bible: Spiritual Success Strategies for Financial Abundance

[2] The moral roots of liberals and conservatives – Jonathan Haidt

[3] Fehr, E., & Gächter, S. (2000). Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments. American Economic Review, 90(4), 980-994. DOI: 10.1257/aer.90.4.980

[4] Africa, altered states, ordinary miracles. Richard Dowden. Africa has been Richard Dowden’s life: from the formative experience as a young volunteer teacher in Uganda, to Africa Editor at the Economist, through to his current role as director of the Royal African Society. Africa has been fighting and competing to overtake the same palace, and never pursued building new ones.

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