Jesus continues to look out at the crowd today, as we focus on what he wants to teach us in our mountainside school. We’ve already learned that he is telling us that in him, as part of his kingdom, the kingdom belongs to those who are poor in spirit; those who mourn will find comfort, and the humble will have so much more on this earth than those who live in selfish pride and conceit.
Today, he’s teaching us that he offers a filling for those who are hungry and thirsty. Listen to what he says:
Yes, those who hunger and thirst for right standing with God, which is the meaning of righteousness, they are the ones who will be spiritually satisfied—filled by him.
What does this say to our world today?
If you’re not looking for God, if you’re not seeking to “be made righteous” by the only one who can, then you’re going to remain hungry and thirsty.
Do you know someone who is never satisfied? Looking for love in all the wrong places, so to speak, but never finding it? Well, this is the person Jesus is NOT talking about here. This world will offer you everything and deliver nothing.
Who hasn’t bought a new car and immediately desired another one that looks a bit better?
Who hasn’t gone into debt to buy their heart’s desire to find that it really wasn’t worth it?
Who hasn’t sought fame and fortune (and everything that goes with it) to find that it doesn’t last?
Jesus is saying that until you are only hungry and thirsty for righteousness, you can get no satisfaction.
This one, short verse also tells that the self-righteous are out of luck as well.
Jesus doesn’t waste his time on those who think they’re already righteous—that is in their own eyes. I’m sure there were quite a few Pharisees, Sadducees, and other religious leaders standing in the crowd that day. I would love to have seen exactly where they were standing, as in my mind’s eye, I picture them on the edges. Too good they were to be sullied by the multitude or to look too interested in what this man had to say.
Being too good doesn’t leave room for Jesus.
No, self-righteousness has no place in the Kingdom of Christ. What was it he said?
If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.Matthew 16:24
I’m not sure this fits within the mindset of most of the religious leaders of his day…or maybe some in ours either.
Where do you stand with this verse? Have you already had your hunger and thirst satisfied by Christ or are you still chasing after the things of this world?
There was a man who seemingly had everything this world had to offer, but God knew his heart and satisfied his true longing. He knew the secret when he wrote:
Taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is the person who takes refuge in him! You who are his holy ones, fear the Lord, for those who fear him lack nothing. Young lions lack food and go hungry, but those who seek the Lord will not lack any good thing.Psalm 34:8-10
Grace and Peace