For hundreds of years the poor and oppressed in the people of Israel had been crying out for justice. It was a cry which still affects us to-day as we hear it in the words of the prophets and out of the prayers of the Psalmists; but time after time it passed unheeded. None of the legal regulations in force was free from the power of tyrannical authorities, to be distorted and exploited by them just as they saw fit. In speaking of legal regulations and their exercise, and in examining Jesus’ attitude towards them, we must not straightway think of our own legal relations, which have grown up partly on the basis of Christianity. Jesus was of a nation the greater part of which had for generations been in vain asking for their rights, and which was familiar with law only in the form of force. The necessary consequence was that in such a nation a feeling of despair arose in regard to the law; despair, as much of the possibility of ever getting justice on earth as, conversely, of the moral claim of law to have any validity at all. We can see something of this temper even in the Gospel. But there is a second consideration which is a standing corrective to this temper. Jesus, like all truly religious minds, was firmly convinced that in the end God will do justice. If He does not do it here, He will do it in the Beyond, and that is the main point. In this connexion there was, in Jesus’ view, nothing objectionable in the idea of law in the sense of a just recompense; it was a lofty, nay, a dominating idea. Just recompense is the function of God’s majesty; to what extent it is modified by His mercy is a question which we need not here consider. The contention that Jesus took a depreciatory view of law as such, and of the exercise of law, cannot be sustained for a moment. On the contrary, everyone is to get his rights; nay more, his disciples are one day to share in administering God’s justice and themselves judge. It was only the justice which was exercised with violence and therefore unjustly, the justice which lay upon the nation like a tyrannical and bloody decree, that he set aside. He believed in true justice, and he was certain, too, that it would prevail; so certain, that he did not think it necessary for justice to use force in order to remain justice.