Jesus Came to Bring Justice
Theme of the Week: Christmas: When Justice Came to Earth
Sunday, December 22, 2013
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Who Said It … Ken Wytsma
Ken Wytsma is the president of Kilns College, a church planter, and lead pastor at Antioch Church in Bend, Oregon. He is the founder of The Justice Conference—an annual event that exposes people to a wide range of organizations and conversations relating to biblical justice. He is the author of Pursuing Justice. Ken and his wife, Tamara, have four daughters.
What he Said … Jesus Came to Bring Justice
We are familiar with the idea that the Old Testament prophets spoke to the coming of Jesus. We often assume the whole reason Jesus came to earth was to bring individual salvation. Yet the very prophets who spoke about the coming Messiah also wrote about him bringing justice. Understood this way, justice isn't added to salvation; rather, salvation necessarily includes justice.
Far from minimizing justice, then, the birth and ministry of Jesus affirm justice as integral to the Good News. Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, Isaiah prophesied that justice would be one of his primary concerns: "Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. … He will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth" (Isa. 42:1, 4, NIV).
Justice cannot be divorced from God's heart and purposes—it permeates them. In fact, a central truth of the gospel is this: God's grace enacts and restores justice.
Key Study Passage: Luke 4:16-21
Adapted from Pursuing Justice by Ken Wytsma (Thomas Nelson, 2013) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.
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Prayer for the Week
Sovereign Lord, please use these readings to give me a new vision of how your love and justice meet in the manger of the incarnate Savior.
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