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What does justice mean to Christians? - Jesus

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Nicola French

on 7 November 2012

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Transcript of What does justice mean to Christians? - Jesus

Objective: To understand what justice meant for Jesus. What did justice mean to Jesus? Predict what Jesus taught about justice. Starter Christians get their greatest inspiration
from the life of Jesus. They try to think and behave as Jesus would have done.
Let's see what he had to
say one day in his home town of Nazareth ... Jesus is at the synagogue and has been asked
to read to the crowd from the scriptures. "The spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has chosen me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recover the sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed and announce that the time has come when the Lord will save his people." Jesus says, "This passage of scripture has come true today ..." The reaction of his listeners is first disbelief, then anger. This scripture, which everyone knows so well ... Jesus is saying it is actually about him!
Jesus is just the village carpenter!
They turn on him.
They chase him out of the town.
They reject him.
But at this moment Jesus had set out his vision of justice for the world. Task Make a list of three groups of people Jesus says he wants to help. Task What do you think Jesus meant by 'the Lord will save his people'? You need to know:
Jesus lived in Palestine. At that time Palestine was controlled by rulers from the Roman Empire. They were sometimes very cruel. The Jews were forced to pay them taxes. A lot of Jewish people were hoping that a Messiah would come and get rid of the hated Romans for good. Why do you think the people chased Jesus out of town? What did justice
mean to Jesus? With a partner, discuss what you think about Jesus' vision of justice. How does it compare to your own?

Why do you think Jesus' ideas would appeal to people like Maria Gomez? The people of Nazareth may have rejected Jesus but others were much more interested in what he had to say. It was often surprising. For example, at the time people thought that someone who was rich and powerful must be especially close to God. Surely God must have made them rich and powerful because God liked them! Jesus said no: God loves the weak, the poor and the oppressed. How did Jesus show justice in his actions? Jesus did more than just talk about justice. Here is an example of Jesus putting his words into action ... Christians say that this story shows that Jesus was 'on the side of' the poor and the powerless. His 'good news for the poor' was not just words - he actually wanted to change their situation, to turn unjust situations into just ones. Task What was unjust about the situation before Jesus came along?
What did Jesus do to change it?
How did Jesus make the situation more just?
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