Re-seeing the Kingdom of God: Those Who Hunger & Thirst

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6

As Jesus begins His public ministry, it becomes undeniable that people want to listen to Him. As he begins his Sermon on the Mount, His longest recorded sermon, He starts with a blessing. This first lesson to his followers is what has become known as the Beatitudes. A “beatitude” is a “supreme blessedness”, so who does Jesus call blessed?

As we continue to break down each of Jesus’s blessings, I think it’s important to pause and note what Daily Grace Co. authors mention about the Beatitudes:

“While it is common to hear the Beatitudes pulled apart or studied one at a time, it is wise to read and study them together. Jesus is crafting a sermon where each piece builds on the last. Many commentators have said that the first four beatitudes show the justification we receive from God, and the last four show the sanctification we receive from Him. Justification is when God declares us righteous because Christ’s righteousness covers us through salvation. Sanctification is the ongoing process believers go through over the course of their lives as they walk with God and He conforms them to His image.”

As we move onto the fourth Beatitude, let’s remember what Jesus has already said: When we acknowledge our own brokenness and spiritual poverty (v. 3), our sin will grieve us (v. 4); yet through humility (v.5), we can move forward in joy because we are able to inherit God’s kingdom and receive His free gift of salvation through Christ.

As Jesus moves to the fourth Beatitude, he declares: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” This is where things start to get really good.

We have recognized our own brokenness, mourned our sin, humbled ourselves to accept Jesus’s salvation, and now as we “willingly come under the Lord’s authority, He places a desire within us to hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Daily Grace Co.)

We see this throughout the scriptures, but especially in the Psalms. David, a man after God’s own heart, spends many psalms crying out to God over his own sin. Yet as he repents and continues to humble himself to the authority of God, we see his hunger for the Lord so apparent. Psalm 63 declares:

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water […] Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you […] I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you” (v. 1, 3-5)

As we submit to God’s authority, He fills us with His Spirit and a hunger for the things that bring Him glory. And Jesus promises that when we hunger and thirst for more of God, we will be filled.

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