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Blessed are Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness (5 of 26)
Series: Kingdom Life
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6).
Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount with what are commonly called “beatitudes.” The four beatitude is “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6). Notice the paradoxical nature of the first four beatitudes. God’s kingdom is an upside-down kingdom.
[Read Matthew 5:1-12.]
HUNGERING AND THIRSTING
[Talk about a time when I hungered and thirsted.] Most of us really don’t understand what it’s like to hunger or thirst. How many of us have gone twenty-four hours without eating or drinking?
To “hunger and thirst” means to have an intense longing for something. Many people live their lives longing for things (e.g., wealth) and are never “satisfied.”
WHAT KIND OF RIGHTEOUSNESS?
To what kind of righteousness does the fourth beatitude refer? In Scripture, there are three kinds of righteousness: (1) legal righteousness (known as justification), (2) moral righteousness (known as sanctification), and (3) social righteousness (e.g., helping the poor). The word “righteousness” occurs four more times in the Sermon on the Mount.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (5:10).
“For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (5:20).
“Beware of practising your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven” (6:1).
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (6:33).
The context suggests that “righteousness” in the fourth beatitude refers to moral righteousness. D. A. Carson define ...
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