Summary: Fourth of the Eight Milestones on the Journey of the Fruitful Followers.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:4
A Sunday school teacher asked the children just before she dismissed them to go to church, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?" Annie replied, "Because people are sleeping."
A Sunday School teacher asked her class why Joseph and Mary took Jesus with them to Jerusalem. A small child replied: "They couldn’t get a baby-sitter."
A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to "honor thy father and thy mother," she asked "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?" Without missing a beat one little boy answered, "Thou shall not kill."
In the Old Testament time, when people talked about righteousness, it usually meant keeping the Ten Commandments. Jesus summarized the Ten Commandments into two, “Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love others as yourself.” So according to Jesus, righteousness is someone who has the right relationship with God and others.
Today we are going to look at the 4th beatitude, which talks about the fourth stage of a fruitful life, in which is when we become hungry and thirsty for righteousness. It is like a seed that is germinated and begin to sprout and being to hunger and thirst for water and nutrition. A person who is on his way to a fruitful life, at this stage, begin to desire for righteousness, and Jesus said they are blessed because they will be filled. This word “filled” in Greek means saturated. In other words you will be provided abundantly.
Remember the central teaching of Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount is Matthew 6:33, “strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” After mentioning the kingdom of God, Jesus touched on the subject of righteousness in the fourth beatitude. Based on Jesus’ teaching in the entire New Testament, “to hunger and thirst for righteousness” means to hunger and thirst for the right relationship with God and others.
Righteousness can be symbolized by the cross, which is composed of a vertical and a horizontal pole. The vertical one symbolizes our relationship with God and the horizontal one symbolize our relationship others. And the fact that the horizontal pole hangs on the vertical one means our healthy relationship with others depends on our healthy relationship with God.
Right Relationship with God
According to Jesus our relationship with God must be at the center of our focus. He said was must love God with all our heart, which mean we must love him passionately. We must love God with all our mind, meaning we must love him intellectually. We must love him with all our soul, meaning we must love him worshipfully. And Mark it has one more element, that we must love him with all our strength, that means loving him energetically. It is 100% devotion to God. I have talked about that many times, so we will focus on right relationship with others.