Hungering and Thirsting

I have been studying the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) with a group on Wednesday nights. Tonight, we will be looking at Matthew 5:6 where Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

As I have been reading, I came across a wonderful quote from Martin Luther on this passage. Luther states:

“The command to you in the beatitude is not to crawl into a corner or into the desert, but to run out … and to offer your hands and your feet and your whole body, and to wager everything you have and can do. What is required of you is a hunger and thirst for right relationships that can never be curbed, stopped or sated. If you cannot make the world completely pious, then do what you can” (Luther’s Works, Vol. 21).

I love this quote because it stresses the outward focus of the gospel so well. We have a tendency to internalize and privatize everything. Christianity becomes about me and God.

Luther helps us to see that Jesus’ words are not just about our private selves, but about making all of creation one that is “pious”. We are to hunger and thirst for a day when all of creation will function in such a way that brings glory and honor to the Creator. And we are to work to that end as we await the return of the one who wears righteousness as a belt (Isaiah 11:1-9).

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