“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Gospel of Luke 4:18-19
Jesus says these words are his mission. This is what it looks like for the Son of God, being fully human, to love his neighbor. So, as apprentices to Jesus, we must also “love our neighbors as ourselves" in his way, looking out for the poor, captive, unseeing, and oppressed.
God sends his gifts of sun and rain to everyone, the good and the evil alike (Matt 6). So, Jesus invites us to live a life of blessing for others in every part of everyday life: physical life, emotional life, relational life, and spiritual life. Following Jesus in word and deed should bring good news for the (physically and spiritually) poor, proclaim liberty to the (physical and spiritual) captives, sight to the (physically and spiritually) blind, and freedom for the (physically and spiritually) oppressed as we take every opportunity to proclaim the Lord’s favor!
And…like everything in life, seeking justice is a process. Jesus says his Kingdom is like a tree that grows from a small seed, but that eventually grows so big that birds can build their nests in it, and other animals (and people!) can eat from and enjoy it. That takes time.
Here are some basic resources for all of us – for ourselves, or perhaps to share in our conversations with others:
What does the bible say about Justice?
First step, open a bible – any translation is fine.
Another video, about biblical justice in the context of the American experience of race, by a thoughtful Christian:
A helpful short article, if you’re more the reading type:
A series of talks, marking 50 years since MLK’s assassination: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/conference/mlk50/
Why Black Lives Matter: A Theological and Confessional Account http://www.whyblacklivesmatter.com/a-theological-account?fbclid=IwAR2q1NADSVTU9NU-cgdiZ9mX0oZ7FFhLPHhDGHuH0tQy_ncdw74oaEncy6s
"Doing Justice and Mercy" - This sermon was preached by Rev. Timothy Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on March 20, 2016.
12 Free Documentaries on African American History:
One man explores his own family's story (free on Amazon Prime):
John Lewis (97 minutes), many viewing options here: