3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: The message deals with 1. Hunger and Thirst, 2. For Righteousness, and 3. They Will Be Filled

Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst

Matthew 5:6


The beatitudes have thus far focused on attitudes of humility, mourning, and meekness. None of these can truly be seen from the outside, they are inner states of being. They are attitudes of the heart and mind that are seen in the form of action. Jesus continues the beatitudes with,

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Jesus constantly spoke about the hypocrites who appeared to be righteous in their actions and yet thought nothing of God or His commands. The Pharisees and Sadducees appeared to be righteous in their actions and yet Jesus said they were hypocrites. Jesus addresses their outward righteousness and inner ungodliness in Matthew 23:25-26,

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

It is very easy to compare ourselves to others and point out their faults. That is not why Jesus gave us the beatitudes. Our concern this morning is to look at our attitudes and actions to determine if we are living the beatitudes. Jesus gives us an everyday happening to symbolize the need in our life.

Hunger and Thirst

Hunger knows no boundaries. It is universal. Our bodies have all kinds of desires and needs. We all need water and nourishment to go through our daily tasks, whether it is our jobs or simple recreation. Food and water are essentials in life. Without the warnings of hunger and thirst we would all die.

In the movie "Serenity" the crew of the ship Serenity find a planet that was last known to be filled with crowds of people all working together to build a world. The ship lands on the planet only to discover the streets empty of people. When the crew begins to investigate they discover the inhabitants dead at there work stations, lying dead on the floor, and dead asleep in bed.

They finally discover the terrible truth behind all of the deaths on the planet after listening to a tape left by a previous government ship. The government had discovered a new drug that brought satisfaction to the people and they had used it as a test drug on the people of the planet.

The drug did bring satisfaction to every one. The problem: they were so satisfied they no longer had ambition, drive, hunger, thirst, or any of the natural God given warnings that alert us to move. They were so satisfied they wouldn’t even get up to get food or drink. They had all died right where they were when the drug got into their system. They died of complete satisfaction right where they were.

Hunger and thirst are very powerful warnings and motivators in life. Jesus knew this when he spoke this beatitude. He used the drives of hunger and thirst to represent a daily need in our lives. Without these alerts to our needs being filled we will die in a very short amount of time. Hunger and thirst drive us to action.

Jesus did not say "blessed are those who hunger and thirst" and leave it at that. Jesus was very specific in his description of the hunger and thirst. It was not for food or water, or love, or power or any other object or thought that drives us. It was for righteousness. Jesus said,

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are those, that’s you and me, that hunger and thirst for righteousness. The Psalmist gives us a vivid picture of this in Psalm 42:1-2,

As the deer pants for streams of water,

so my soul pants for you, O God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

When can I go and meet with God?

For Righteousness

Righteousness is defined as conformity to God’s Law, both from our heart and deeds, inside and outside. No one can attain it apart from perfect adherence to the law; Christ was the only one in all of human history to do it. No one can attain it without Divine intervention; righteousness to please God must come from God Himself.

Good works are not a way to righteousness apart from the work of Christ on the cross. Our righteousness is like filthy rags. We all are corrupted by sin, and unable to live according to God’s perfect standards. It must be a gift from God. The gift from God is found in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 6:34,

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.

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