Summary: Jesus makes a promise to fill our spiritual hunger.
(Sermon #6 of Sermon On The Mount Series)
Parkview Church of the Nazarene
J. Richard Lord, Jr.
When was the last time you were really hungry?
I’m not talking about those few pangs you get when it’s time for dinner.
I’m talking about what you feel when you have missed more than one meal and you have become weak and shaky and you have this horrible pain in your middle because your stomach is contracting and creating acids that are reacting against your stomach lining because their is nothing there to absorb them. It’s been so long since you have had something to eat that chewing on a toothpick actually tastes good. You dream of a T-bone steak, cooked to perfection, smothered in mushrooms, with a baked potato drowning in butter and sour cream on the side, with a couple of gallons of ice tea to go with it.
Speaking of ice tea, what about thirst? To add to your hunger, you have this dry condition in your mouth that feels like its full of cotton. Your lips are parched and you can’t even get enough saliva to spit. You are almost delirious with thirst. You dream of immersing yourself in cool clear water, and drinking a couple of buckets full.
I doubt many of us has experienced any serious bouts with real hunger and thirst. Oh, I know we’ve been hungry and thirsty, there may have been a few times in our life when we’ve had to skip a meal or two, or we’ve been a little dry, but we are the fortunate in this world who have all the water we want to drink and never go to bed truly hungry.
But yet we understand this kind of physical hunger. With our brief experience, we can imagine and even empathize with those who experience it on a daily basis. That’s the reason those commercials that show hungry, destitute little children tug at our heartstrings. We can imagine.
With that picture in your mind, there is another question. When was the last time you were really spiritually hungry? I’m not talking about feeling guilty because you skipped church, or reaching for your Bible because you are in some sort of trouble or you have a few questions on your mind. I am talking about a sense of being lost, of feeling undone, out of control of your life. I am talking about having such an emptiness in the depths of your soul that your whole being cries out for relief. I am talking about a pain of loneliness that comes from having no one to turn to in your time of need. I am talking about feeling the weight of your sin pressing down on your heart so hard that you feel like you are going to die.
Your whole world is out of kelter. You are lost. Nothing feels right about your life. You are guilty of your sins. You feel a sense of impending doom surrounding you. You’ve tried to do the right things, but it has turned wrong. You are depressed, unhappy, and don’t see how you can go on living.
That is spiritual hunger. Multiply that millions of people on this earth that have never heard the gospel preached in its beauty and simplicity. Add to that millions of people who have heard the gospel, but for some reason have rejected it, and have tried every other thing they can think of, and you get a picture of a majority of people in this world, right now.
This spiritual hunger is what Jesus was talking about. This scripture might be better translated, “Blessed are those who are in a continual state of hungering and thirsting for righteousness. . .”
He understood the condition of the people he was ministering to. He knew the minds and hearts of those who surrounded Him. He felt our pain, our loneliness, our burden of guilt, our spiritual hunger.
In the middle of these life-changing lessons that He was giving, Jesus was making a promise. He was promising us that no longer shall we stumble through life without any direction or comfort, no longer shall we live “out of control,” no longer shall we carry the burden and guilt of our sin, no longer shall we be lonely, because He is here, He has come!
Jesus’ promise to us that those who have lived in that state of spiritual hunger “shall be filled.” The term “be filled” is the same term that was used to mean to “fatten up cattle,” to “fill full.”
Jesus’ intention for us is to fill ourselves up “full” with Him. Our hunger is to be satiated. He will bring us to a full state of health because we can feast and drink from Him till we are full, full of the Spirit, cleansed from all sin, sanctified wholly, set apart from the world to serve Him and love Him all of our days. He quenches our thirst with the “springs of living water” that “flow from the throne of grace.” We are full of His presence, which guides us and keeps in our walk, keeping us from the snares of Satan and keeps us from being lost in the detours of life. For all eternity, we will never be lonely again. “He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own. And the joys we share as we tarry there, no other has ever known.”