Generous Justice, Tim Keller
Class #6. What Did Jesus Say About Justice?
From Chap. . Pg. 41-54a
Keller contends that justice is not just an Old Testament concern. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Yet, in his zeal for souls, Jesus did not abandon the concern of the old covenant for justice in the lives of all people. Jesus showed a continued concern for justice issues,
*in his teaching, Luke
*in his own ministry, Mt. 11:4-5
Pages 44-45 create of list of people who received the attention of Jesus’ ministry: the socially ostracized, the poor widows, the victims of sexism and racism, children, lepers, wealthy tax collectors, poor shepherds, and women.
Keller contrasts the first century Patronage System (being benevolent to those who can serve you) with Jesus’ call to benevolence towards those who cannot repay. Luke 6:32-36; 14:13-14; Mt.6:1-4. When an act of kindness cannot be repaid, this leaves mercy for mercy’s sake (Luke 10:25-37) and a true concern for justice (Luke 18:1-8) as motivations to be compassionate and generous. (Pg. 46-48)
Examples of The Continuum of Justice in OT Prophets Writing and Jesus’ Teachings
Is. 1:15, 17 Prayer
without care for the widow is and fatherless is useless
Mark 12:38-40 Jesus rebukes the praying religious who then devour widows
58:6-7 The fasting God desires is the sharing of food with the hungry
Luke 11:38-42 The Pharisees were full of greed and neglect justice
Keller quote: “A lack of justice is a sign that the worshippers’ hearts are not right with God at all.” (pg. 50). Cf. Is 29:13 and 21
Matthew 25:35-36 Benevolence is to be both emergency and long-term. Give food and clothing; take in and visit strangers, sick, and visitors. Keller quote: One’s heart towards the poor reveals one’s heart attitude toward Christ.” (Pg. 53). Cf. Mt. 25:40.