As anxiety intensifies leading up to Nov. 3, align your spirit with the Lord of peace through the Beatitudes.
Today’s beatitude: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)
This gave me a chuckle:
Ever happened to you? You’re hungry, and your stomach wants to tell the world, often at the most inopportune moment!
In our material abundance, most of us don’t know what real hunger is like. As a result, the full impact of this beatitude may not hit us.
William Barclay writes, “So, then, the hunger which this beatitude describes is no genteel hunger which could be satisfied with a mid-morning snack; the thirst of which it speaks is no thirst which could be slaked (quenched) with a cup of coffee or an iced drink. It is the hunger of the man who is starving for food, and of the man who will die unless he drinks.” (The Gospel of Matthew, volume 1)
To a limited extent, the beatitude applies to us when we desire for things to be right in our world. But all the Beatitudes, including this one, find their truest fulfillment in Jesus.
He humbled Himself to be poor in spirit. He mourned sin and evil. He set aside His power and became meek.
And no one hungered and thirsted for righteousness as much as He did! His desire to make us righteous was like a man who will die unless He drinks. On the cross, He said, “I thirst.” Then He said, “It is finished” and gave up His spirit. (John 19:28-30) His hunger and thirst for our righteousness before God literally killed Him.
Barclay goes on, “This beatitude is in reality a question and a challenge. In effect it demands, ‘How much do you want goodness? Do you want it as much as a starving man wants food, and as much as a man dying of thirst wants water?’ How intense is our desire for goodness?”
We all want to see goodness in our world. Do we want it enough to make it happen ourselves? Through our words and actions, we can do our part in a world desperately needing more “right conduct,” rather than wrong conduct.
By faith in Jesus, God declares us righteous, not by our deeds but by Christ’s work, so that we will be “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through faith in Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:11) Righteous hearts produce righteous fruit.
That kind of fruit hits the spot for hungry souls!
For further reading: Righteousness by grace through faith was the major theme of the Reformation. Check out this Reformation post from last year.
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