In Luke 4:16-21 Jesus announces that the hope of a just, healthy, community is fulfilled in Him. Hooray! Justice!

Guess what happens next? They carry Jesus on their shoulders and celebrate? Nope. They try to lynch Him.

What! Why? Let's look at two aspects of what Justice actually is and why it put Jesus at risk.

First, justice is what Hannah praises God for in 1 Sam 2: things get reversed. Justice is flipping over the tables of what has been and is and is expected to be. People can get rich because of injustice, feel powerful because of injustice, and take comfort and hope in injustice. Don't be messing with my injustice!

So when Jesus talks about seeking His Kingdom and His righteousness (Mat 6:33), this is what He's talking about. The crowd thins considerably when He gets to this part of the sales-pitch. When Jesus quotes Isaiah about a fair-wage, or Moses about cancelling debts and honoring Sabbath, our heads spin around like Linda Blair. All our demons hoot.

Second, what else is Justice that makes it unappealing?

So, justice--for me-myself--is simple: I get what was owed me. 

But what about when we "seek first Jesus' Kingdom and His righteousness"? Then I'm seeking justice in other situations. Which means that I am investing my time, energy, resources, in solving other people's problems. I am paying for other people's mistakes. Like King David in 2 Samuel 21: the famine was not his fault, but who has to fix it? David.

Justice is paying for other people's mistakes. To be involved in Justice, therefore, requires us to give people something they don't deserve--our attention, advocacy, etc. This is the definition of mercy. Seeking the King's Justice requires mercy. To put ourselves out there, to pay for, other people's mistakes.

Cue the hoots and howls. "Why should I have to!" You don't. "I can't be made to!" You aren't.

But listen: isn't this our faith? Jesus paid for our mistakes? 

Praise God for the injustice of the Great Justice He worked in Christ.  

This is our King. His Kingdom is a Kingdom like that. You might want to pitch Him and His policies off the brow of yonder hill, but...He is the King.

All the hard things of our faith involve an investment we don't like to give and don't have to give. But that's okay because Jesus wanted to give and did. So we can be stingy and safe, hoarders and hiders.

But we don't have to be. And it's funner too, out where Jesus is. His Kingdom and His righteousness are worth exploring.