Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be satisfied – A sermon on Matthew 5:6 by Rev. Colin Pretorius, read by Br. Andrew le Breton.
I think most of you will have seen the ad on television for the flavoured milk Oak – there’s this guy walking through an amusement park spruiking Oak, telling us that it is the only cure for when you are hungry and thirsty or a bit of both. Now I have never ever drunk Oak so I don’t know if it works so please don’t take this as an endorsement of the product! But this led me to thinking about our spiritual thirst and hunger – what is it that we hunger and thirst for?
Over the past few weeks we’ve looked at what it means to be poor in spirit, to mourn over our sin and the sins of the world, and to be meek. We’ve seen that those who are poor in spirit recognise their spiritual poverty and because they do that, they sorrow or mourn over how the Father is grieved by their sin and the sins of the world. And we’ve also seen how that acknowledgement of spiritual poverty and sorrow flows out into an attitude of meekness, the attitude of being gentle and mild and considerate and humble, an attitude of servanthood.
We need to keep in mind that in a sense these beautiful attitudes are steps to kingdom living. At the very foundation of becoming a Christian and living a Christian life is the recognition of one’s deep, deep need for God. This recognition allows the other attitudes to develop. And flowing from the first three attitudes, and building upon them, comes the fourth beatitude. In Matthew 5:6 Jesus tells us that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be blessed – they’ll be approved by God. Moreover, their hunger will be stilled – it will be satisfied.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied
When we look at this text, we need to ask ourselves at least three questions:
- What does Jesus mean when He talks about hungering and thirsting?
- What sort of righteousness is Jesus referring to?
- And what is the satisfaction of which Jesus speaks?