Bible Study Lesson: Beatitudes
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
Q. Meaning of hunger and thirst?
- ‘Hunger and thirst’ are strong words, meaning an ardent, eager, famishing, all consuming craving, desire and passion of the soul for God and his righteousness.
- Psalms often portrays picture of man craving and desiring more of God.
- Psalm 84: 1-2: “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty, my soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord.”
- Psalm 143:6: “My Soul thirsts for you like a parched land.”
Q. Meaning of ‘Righteousness’?
- The word ‘righteousness’ comes from Greek word “dikaiosyne”, meaning rightness, quality of rightness or justice.
- it is justice held in love, both within the man and in the world.
- It is the rightness judged by the standard of God’s law.
- Being right with God
- People hunger and thirst for
- There are, however, those who long for God. These are the people who are not just interested or satisfied by worldly things or pleasures. They are the ‘Seekers’. It is often human tendency to neglect the spiritual needs. But these are the people who yearn after God.
Q. What does it mean to ‘hunger and thirst for righteousness’?
- It is not seeking self-righteousness, but it is the righteousness that comes from God.
- It is to depend, not on our own will-power to achieve it but upon God.
- In Jesus’ time, if there were anybody who would qualify for such earnest passion and zeal for God, that would be the Pharisees and the Scribes (Teachers of the Law). But in the same chapter (Matthew 5:20) Jesus makes a startling statement. “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, You will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” How can one attain a righteousness, which even Pharisees failed to achieve? What kind of righteousness Jesus is talking about?
- Romans 3:21-22 answers the question. “But now righteousness of God apart from the Law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who will believe.”
- So then, righteousness of God is available through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe in Him. And those who will seek him, will find him and will be filled.
- Jesus himself claimed to be the one who will quench the thirst. John 7:37: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.”
- Hunger and thirst are not one time need, they are our daily needs. Our body need constant nourishment from food and water to function properly. In the same way, our spirit needs daily food too. Many Christians suffer from ‘spiritual malnourishment’ due to lack of hunger and thirst or lack of feeding to their spiritual needs.
- Only God can quench our thirst and satisfy our hunger for righteousness.
- What do you desire most? Do you long for more of God in you life or have you lost that hunger and thirst?
Part 4: Beatitudes: Blessed are those who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness