What Jesus’ Kind of Social Justice Looks Like by Greg Boyd

For many, the primary way of building the kingdom is to influence politics in order to make America more Christian. Others take the opposite approach, concluding that Jesus didn’t try to overhaul the political systems of His day through political means; therefore Christian faith is only a private matter that has no social relevance. Both approaches get it wrong.

Because Jesus did not allow the society or politics of His day to define His ministry, He positioned Himself to make a revolutionary prophetic impact upon His society and the politics of the time. Jesus did not buy into the limited options the culture placed before Him. He rather exposed the ugly injustices in all kingdom-of-the-world options by offering a radically distinct alternative.

For example, Jesus never entered into the fray of particular debates about the status of women in society. He rather exposed the ugliness of patriarchalism by the countercultural way He treated women. Ignoring negative consequences for His reputation, Jesus befriended them and gave them a culturally unprecedented dignity.

In a similar way, Jesus did the same for social outcasts. He served lepers, the blind, the demonized, the poor, prostitutes and tax collectors. His actions were a challenge to the inhumanity of social structures of the day that served as a mustard seed alternative that started small but grew slowly.

Jesus also exposed the inhumanity of certain religious rules, which was a political problem in the first century because religious leaders had political power. He exposed the evil of racial prejudice by fellowshipping with Samaritans and Gentiles, and He even praised them in His teachings. In addition, He healed and worked miracles on the Sabbath, something that religious leaders forbade.

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Source: Relevant Magazine

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