What does the Bible say about social justice?

February 20th is World Day of Social Justice. What does that mean for Jesus followers?
  • By: Laura Phillips

February 20th is World Day of Social Justice. It’s an international day dedicated to promoting social justice, which includes efforts to tackle issues like poverty, exclusion, gender equality, unemployment, human rights and social protections.

As a child development organization, we love to champion days like today! We also know that the social justice we seek day in and day out is rooted in something much deeper than cultural movements or online trends. The social justice we seek is deeply rooted in Jesus.

And the coolest part? We can see brushstrokes of God’s justice painted all throughout scripture. From the Old Testament to the New, God is consistently compelling His people to join with Him in the work of shalom—the restoration of all that is broken and all who are broken.

Let’s take a look.

Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”

– Isaiah 1:17


“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

– Micah 6:8


“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

– James 1:27


“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

– Luke 4:18-19


“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”

– Isaiah 58: 6-9


“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

– Matthew 25:35


“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.”

– Psalm 89:14


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Photos by Ben Adams, Caroline A. Mwinemwesigwa, Gabriella Akpene Samaty, Nico Benalcazar and Jake Thomas.