In Matthew 5:6, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” This week, we examine this Beatitude.
The first word to understand is hunger. Jesus is illustrating the desire for righteousness with the desire for food. But what type of hunger is this? Is he talking about having the munchies? Or is this the hunger when your stomach growls because it has been a few hours since you last ate? Or is this extreme hunger that leaves you weak?
The word used here can have a broad meaning, including intense hunger that leaves you weak. Listen to how this word is used in Matthew 4:1-2: “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.” (NIV)
I know people who have fasted for a day, or a meal a day for several days. But Jesus fasted both day and night for 40 days. He needed food! He was hungry! Keep this picture in mind when you think of this Beatitude! The same word is used in both passages.
To hunger for righteousness means to be acutely aware of our need for it. It is not the desire for a snack, but the longing to satisfy a need. We need righteousness. If we hunger for it, we will be filled.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.