“But you have neglected the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy and faithfulness.” (Matthew 23:24)
As Jesus chastised the religious leaders for their selfishness, He revealed the characteristics of life that are important to Him. Thus, they are to be important to us. Justice is first on the list. Doing the right thing is always at the top of Jesus’ list for us. That, “doing the right thing,” however, is in accordance to God’s will. We must discover what that is for each situation. Mercy follows justice and many times becomes part of that justice. Can we turn from revenge to mercy? God did when He sent Jesus. Faithfulness means being faithful to God in all things. Here is a world anyone would love to live in.
As much as we might talk justice, mercy, and faithfulness it is imperative that we live it. All three go against our natural born tendencies. The world is full of revenge. Wherever we turn there is a call for some retribution. Yet, as the Spirit of God dwells within us, we will be drawn to justice, mercy, and faithfulness and the world will be a better place because of it. May the Lord help us be who He wants us to be.
Heavenly Father, stir up Your Spirit within us to turn from our wicked ways to Your ways of justice, mercy, and faithfulness. Only You can make that happen in our lives. We are too weak in our sin to turn to such righteousness. Lord, make it so by Your presence in our lives.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.