Everyone knows that the words we speak reveal much about our life.
Just like a photographic image is revealed while immersed in the developing fluid, so the background of our outside life and the richness of our inner life are revealed through our words.
The words that you and I speak are conditioned by the background of our daily lives – affections, thoughts, longings, anxieties, struggles, passions, what we read, what we watch, what we listen too.
In Matthew 5:6 we come across these words:
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
Considering our “theory” expressed above, what do these words say about Jesus, about his life? The question will be answered in a future article.
But for now let’s look at the words and the listeners. When Jesus spoke these words, the people to whom he was speaking, the people who heard the words for the first time, for them HUNGER and THIRST rang a clear bell. They knew what it meant to be hungry (they didn’t have our supermarkets, our constant access to food, our money and our refrigerators) and they knew what it meant to be thirsty (they didn’t have out taps, where at any time of day you can have clean, fresh water).
But Jesus meant more than that.
What he was talking about was a kind of hunger and a kind of thirst, which, if not quenched, would lead to death. Have we ever felt like we would die of hunger or thirst?
When we go over these words in Matthew our brain can have a somewhat difficult time in actually rendering the feelings, the anxieties, the fears and the pains which hunger and thirst would provoke.
Now … here is the difficult part: as believers, we should hunger and thirst to be righteous. Its not food and water we are talking about, but RIGHTEOUSNESS.
In 2 Corinthians 5:21 Paul says this:
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
If we put them together – the verse in Matthew and the one in 2 Corinthians, we can see the following:
- our hunger and thirst for righteousness is our thirst and hunger for Christ (“IN HIM we might become the righteousness …”)
- [to be made righteous you need a sinless person to satisfy God’s wrath (“sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins”) (see 1 John 4:10)]
- it was God’s plan to accomplish this – us being made righteous (“HE MADE him to be sin …. SO THAT ….”)
- we are in the same “class” with Paul when it comes to sinners being made righteous (“WE might become …..”)
- Jesus is talking about a hunger and thirst that only He can satisfy. (Matthew 5:6)
- it is a promise – the fact that if we hunger and thirst – we will be satisfied (Matthew 5:6)
- this hunger and thirst comes with a unique kind of joy in the life of those who have it. (BLESSED are those who ...) (Matt 5:6)
The questions for us today are:
– Can these words hit us, IMPACT our hearts and minds in such a way that we can feel that, if we do not eat and drink, we will die?
– DO WE HUNGER AND THIRST FOR … RIGHTEOUSNESS?
One last thing:
Jesus says : “THOSE WHO hunger and thirst”. Not everyone does.
Do I? Do you?
This is an encouragement for you to desire more of Christ, to want to know Him more, to want to be more like Him, to want to follow Him and obey Him, to desire to be more holy, to be more humble, more loving, more sacrificial.
HUNGER AND THIRST for righteousness, knowing that only God can make you righteous through CHRIST.