You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. – Lev. 19.15, ESV

Since about the 16th century “Lady Justice” has often been portrayed with a blindfold over her eyes. There is a very good reason for this and we find it here in Leviticus. True justice is blind, it doesn’t look at whether the person at the bar of justice is rich, poor, or somewhere in between. True justice rules on what is just and right alone.

This is a profoundly biblical concept. Notice the careful balance in the instructions. We might be inclined, depending upon our own prejudices, to favor either the rich or the poor. God instructs us to favor neither, but “in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.”

I imagine this instruction goes way beyond the court of justice. God wants us to treat the poor exactly as we treat the wealthy and everyone in between: fairness for all, love for all, compassion for all. Indeed, we have the perfect model of how to treat people, Our Lord. [Which, by the way, is why we should be going back again and again to the gospels so we can watch Jesus as he interacts with people, then go and do likewise.]

 

 

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