Daily Word

Hunger for righteousness | Matthew 5:6

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

Matthew 5:6 (NASB)

Be-attitude 4

We’re now on be-attitude four. The first three seem to have set a foundation for the next ones. 

Hunger and thirst

Of course the image Jesus wants to bring to our mind is physical food and drink since everyone can relate to that. There is not a person who can survive without them. Jesus, Himself, has recently done without nourishment for 40 days; He knows what physical hunger is! We do as well. “Nothing would better express the strong desire which we ought to feel to obtain righteousness, than hunger and thirst.” (Barnes’ commentary) Even as you’re reading this you’re possibly getting hungry. But we know Jesus is talking about spiritual food, righteousness in particular.


So what is righteousness? What does it mean to be righteous? “[To] ardently desire to be and do right because it is right; trusting not in their own righteousness, but in the righteousness of Christ, which by [Paul] is called the righteousness of God by faith of Jesus Christ which is unto all and upon all them that believe. Romans 3:22.” (Family commentary)


Those who do hunger and thirst for righteousness will be satisfied. This is their blessing that will bring happiness. “They shall be saturated”, is another translation. Picture a sponge that has been sitting in the hot, dry sun and is completely dried out. It’s then soaked in water and becomes saturated with water. It can no longer soak up water, it can’t take on any more water. In fact, if you pour water onto it, the water will flow over the sponge to other places.

This helps us see that this satisfaction is complete, this happiness is complete. There is fullness of righteousness, Christ’s righteousness, to those who seek it with great longing and desire – as for life. But not only that, it presents a picture of this blessing of righteousness flowing to others around us. As we long for it, the blessing of Christ’s righteousness comes in overwhelming abundance, too much for us, such that it flows to others.


  • Remember this is Jesus speaking, teaching. He’s not just teaching the crowds of His day. He knew you would be reading this now and it would apply to you, to me, 2000 years later.
  • Do we desire righteousness as we would hunger for food and drink in a desert? Do we delight ourselves in the Lord (Psalm 37:4) and in His Word (Psalm 1:2)? How? Be still and know He is God (Psalm 41:10). Read and study His word. Seek Him in prayer. Fellowship with others. I might add, repent and deal with idols of the heart.
Image from Pxfuel.com

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