I saw this posted on Facebook:
Apartheid was legal,
The Holocaust was legal,
Slavery was legal,
Colonialism was legal.
Legality is a matter of power, not justice.
I am not sure of the point of this meme, but it got me thinking. For one thing, power and injustice don’t always go together, but there is certainly a strong correlation between the powerful and injustice to the powerless.
In that context, think about these words from the most famous sermon given by Jesus:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Jesus was not talking to the powerful in this sermon. He was preaching good news to the poor. He wasn’t urging the poor, the downcast, the meek to rise up and riot or challenge the power of the powerful. He was telling them they were blessed, for great is their reward in heaven!