Everyone has a "comfort zone," and stepping out of it is never easy. No one's comfort zone is quite the same, but whatever it is we tend to cling to it and protest when we are forced out of it. One thing that is certain is that God doesn't want us to stay in our comfort zones because when we leave them behind we grow closer to Him. He becomes our comfort zone. Sometimes pulling us out of our comfort zone means pointing out things that need to change. Jesus did this often with the religious leaders, and I don't believe that it always fell on deaf ears. In Acts, we read that there are believers who were Pharisees (Acts 15), so we know that Jesus didn't just say things that were tough to anger and humiliate them; He wanted to save them! So, when I have to hear something that is hard I know it is hard because I need to change. When we are in the Bible, we cannot help but hear a message that shouts out a message of change and leaving our comfort zones. Please read one way that Jesus was pulling the Pharisees out of their comfort zones in order to bring them closer to God in Luke 11:37-42.
This week as I look at how only God is truly just, I can see throughout the Bible that this is what God expects from us. We can also see in the New Testament that the Law happens when we are loving God with everything in us and loving our neighbor as ourselves. Justice is an extension of our love for others. When we are loving our neighbor, we will care what happens to our neighbor. We will care about the injustices in this world. The Pharisees wanted to express their love and faithfulness by obeying the letter of the Law; however, they had forgotten the heart behind the law. If you continue reading on in Luke 11, you will see that Jesus compares the Pharisees with the Israelites that persecuted the ancient prophets.
Why would Jesus compare them with a society that had fallen so far away from God? I believe that it was because God told the Israelites that justice was what He wanted from the Israelites. He couldn't hear their praise and sacrifices when they were treating each other unfairly. Jesus saw that the Pharisees were willing to tithe and were faithful in their tithing; however, they had forgotten the poor. They had forgotten to be generous to those who were unable to help themselves. Jesus told them to continue following the Law, but don't forget the heart behind the Law. That is what makes the Law so important! Love others...show justice. Those are the more important things. He is calling all of us to do the same...step out of our comfort zones and pour our love out on others.
How can you use justice to express love to others?
This post is linked with Internet Cafe Devotions and iFellowship Blog Hop.