The Kingdom // Matthew 5:6
Jesus is speaking to our most basic, human need. Food. Every person on this earth came out of their mother’s womb with the skill of discerning when they needed to be filled with nourishment. IT’S HARDWIRED in us. The need for food, according to maslow is more foundational than even our need for safety.
He didn’t say ‘hunger and thirst for God’ we all have that.
Some of the most evocative words in the Old Testament come from Ecclesiastes 3:11,
God has made everything beautiful in its time; also he has put eternity into man's mind, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
What does this mean: that God has put eternity in man's mind and yet has withheld from us the vision of what he has done from everlasting to everlasting?
And Jeremiah, like this in 2:12–13:
My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken me,
the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
We were made for thee o god and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you - St. Augustine
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” -CS Lewis
Many of you here have a deep longing in your soul. The grass is always greener for you. And instead of seeing that as God’s calling to you to come home, you turn to the next job, flat, porn, holiday, expensive whisky, boyfriend, church, etc. But it all keeps you longing for more. It’s empty calories you consume and consume and consume but will never fill you.
Australia’s great depression
Nardoo fern pods made into porridge. NO NUTRITIONAL VALUE.
PEOPLE WERE DYING WITH FULL STOMACHS.
That is the city we live in today. People with full stomachs but spiritually starving.
Jesus is saying your most basic, fundamental urge is to fill your soul
What are you hungry for? Whatever you are hungry for is determining the destiny of your life.
When we think of someone who is righteous, we tend to drift to perhaps this image:
*monk picture here*
Righteousness does NOT mean withdraw from the world. Or insulating yourself with so many rules and regulations your life doesn’t relate to anyone else’s. What you can see as commitment, God sees as disobedience. The Intensity of your religious practices/bible studies/fellowships is not a sign of righteousness, as we’ll see in a few weeks. Jesus defines righteousness’ characteristics as this:
What is the righteousness Jesus is talking about?
Righteousness is ________
**Living a life with a full knowledge and recognition of and sensitivity to the presence of God within me.
Righteousness is a RESULT of being conquered by the Kingdom of Heaven (vs 3-5). We hunger for God’s will and work to be played out IN us and THRU us. God pursues us, redeems us, transforms us, and sends us. It’s the visible signs of what has occurred inwardly.
Jesus told us to be IN the world but not OF the world.
Righteousness has a direct effect on how we interact with the world around us. Jesus is about to define for us in the coming weeks three characteristics of righteousness in vs 7-10
(vs7-10)mercy, purity, and peacemaking…….and as a result; persecution.
When you are conquered by the Kingdom of God, and pursue mercy, purity, and peacemaking; the result is righteousness.