“Unrolling the scroll, [Jesus] found the place where it is written: The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” (Luke 4:17-18)
Jesus read these words from the Book of the prophet Isaiah which is now part of the Old Testament of the Holy Bible (Isaiah 42:1-7). In Isaiah’s day and age, the prophecy was never fulfilled by any particular human being, but some 500 years or more later, the disciples of Jesus associated this text with the very person and ministry of Jesus. They witnessed to Him as “the Christ” or “Messiah” – the anointed one of God promised of old. Luke went on to complete the account, writing – “And [Jesus] rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:20-21). Jesus saw Himself as the one the prophets pointed to who would usher in God’s New Age of peace, wholeness, and justice.
In some cases, Christians have a disconnect where this important identity reveal of Jesus is concerned. Jesus claims to be the fulfiller of those words from Isaiah 42 from which he read aloud to the people that day long ago, but some live as if His “righteousness” or just living is not central to our salvation.
- The Doers – There are some Christians who may join a charitable cause or become activists to help the needy. But their activism does not influence how they spend money on themselves, how they conduct their careers, how they choose where to live, or whom they welcome as friends. Such “do-ers” lose enthusiasm for helping others and find there has been no foundation in their faith to fuel their good deeds. This sermon series helps to re-align the desire to “do justice” with the source of true godly mercy and love.
- The Doubters – Some Christians in wealthy place seem to treat the subject of “doing justice” with suspicion. Some Protestant denominations of the Church strongly emphasized personal salvation as the main goal of the Gospel, while more liberal progressive churches can seem to stress social justice over spreading the Good News of Jesus, with an apparent neglect for evangelism and conversion. This series will show that there’s no need to suspect that “doing justice” requires a change to orthodox Christian theology, but instead acting for equity is an expected outcome for everyone for whom the love of God has been poured into their hearts by the Holy Spirit.
- The Distressed – There are some who have walked away from Christianity or won’t consider Jesus because they have come to see “religion” as the cause of violence and injustice in the world. Yet, this sermon series will show that the teaching and example of Jesus is aligned with the hope of the Old Testament prophets and that the God of the Bible is committed to a new future of justice, wholeness, love, and peace.
Is there another view that remains committed to an orthodox, biblical view of Jesus and His Gospel message? This sermon series is here to say “yes!” There is indeed another way to stay true to the Jesus we read about in the Bible and to unite a passion to see people follow Jesus by faith AND to have a passion for “doing justice” – not as an artificial add-on, not as a contradiction to biblical teaching, but as the result of an all-of-life transformation promised in the Gospel itself.
14 Aug 2022 #4 Justice & you Matt. 22:34-40 Youtube Text
21 Aug 2022 #5 Why do justice? James 2:15-17 Youtube Text
28 Aug 2022 #6 How to live justly Matt. 25:35-40 Youtube Text