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Hungry and Thirsty | Matthew 5:6

How do you hunger and thirst for righteousness?

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Matthew 5:6

There are so many references to bread and water in the Bible. I think that being hungry and thirsty is something that we can all identify with. Right? But what does Jesus mean here? How do you hunger and thirst for righteousness? What in the world could that mean?

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[6:41] Righteousness in Greek is “righteousness of which God is the source or author, but practically a “divine righteousness”. New Testament is approval of God = divine approval, refers to what is deemed right by the Lord (after his examination), i.e. what is approved in his eyes. Also, integrity, virtue, purity of life, uprightness, correctness in thinking, feeling, and acting.” (

[7:35] In reading the Psalms you see David talk a lot about being pure of heart and the lives of the righteous. There are many references to doing what is deemed right by the Lord. My favorite thing from the definition above is, “after his examination.” Approved after his examination, approved in His eyes. See, that means that he is the one to decide about your righteousness. His standard is what counts. Isn’t that glorious? He is the One that decides. Your righteousness is between you and the Lord. Honestly, righteousness seems unattainable. It feels like one of those Bible words that must refer to the old saints and the Holy Trinity. Regular old humans couldn’t possibly be righteous. But here’s the thing…Jesus is our Righteousness. Jesus is saying blessed are those who hunger and thirst for ME. He came, he lived, he died, and rose again to be our righteousness. God knew we needed this. He provided what we needed to achieve it. He gave us his son.

[18:35] So, Jesus is righteousness personified. He wants us to hunger and thirst for him, to live in a way that he approves, doing what he deems is right. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 34:8, “Taste and see that the Lord is good”. This goes along with this theme, doesn’t it? Once we taste of his goodness we should be all about getting more of him. Jesus says in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” Taste and see that he is good! Hunger and thirst and you will be filled.

[26:24] The story of the woman at the well in John 4 is such a perfect illustration for Matthew 5:6. Jesus meets a Samaritan woman and asks for a drink from her. She is shocked because he is clearly a Jew and Jews didn’t typically speak to Samaritans, especially women, and she tells him so. They have some good banter and Jesus says that if he gave her water she would never thirst again and that it would become a spring that wells up to eternal life. She is ready for that. So Jesus tells her to go get her husband. She tells Jesus she doesn’t have a husband. But Jesus already knows this and tells her exactly how many husbands she has had and that the man she currently has is not her husband. The woman is shocked, obviously and says he must be a prophet. Jesus actually reveals who he is to this woman after a confusing speech. She says that when the Messiah comes, he will explain all this to them and Jesus says I am He.

Jesus is righteousness. He has enough for all of us. Even the Samaritan woman at the well. Even for all the Samaritans that she brought back to the well to hear Jesus for themselves. Jesus knew who she was and offered her the drink of eternal life anyway. Because he can. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

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