Yeshua taught the people, saying “Blessed are those which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled!”
I have written before that Yeshua, through the Beatitudes especially, was teaching us not only about life, but more specifically about life in the midst of our daily circumstances. We saw this with the Greek word ouranos. We determined that the best way to translate the word was to look for the definition which best met us in our everyday lives, and that the best definition was ‘happiness’. We also saw this when we looked at the Greek word kleronomeo. We found that the definition which best meets us in the ‘here and now’ isn‘t that we will inherit the earth, but partake or participate in the earth, because participating in life on earth makes more sense in the context of our daily lives. This line of thought continues with the next verse in the Beatitudes: “Blessed are those which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they will be filled.”
The translations of this Beatitude are pretty good, but it still makes sense to look at the usage of the words in the verse, to get a better sense of what Yeshua is teaching us. In this Beatitude, the use of the word hunger doesn’t have anything to do with food, but is used to indicate a high level of desire. Similar to this is the word thirst, which doesn’t have anything to do with drinking anything. Instead the word thirst is used to indicate that the desire for righteousness is not merely at a high level, but is at an extremely high level. Yeshua also shares the results of these efforts, “…they will be filled”.
“Wait! Did you just say ‘efforts’? Since when did ‘hunger’ and ‘ thirst’ become efforts? ” (as in something we do, or try to accomplish) you may ask.
The idea that the words ‘hunger and thirst’ becomes an effort, or is based on activity, comes from the words before and after them. Look at words in the middle of the phrase again, “…which do hunger and thirst after…” These words take the extreme desire for righteousness, and reflect this desire in our actions. In other words, people with such an extreme desire to be righteous, will put that desire into practice through the things which they say and do. The ‘hunger and thirst’, or extreme desire for righteousness will become the driving motivation behind their actions; actions which they undertake in the midst of their daily lives.
Paul wrote about this motivation,(see What is Sin? part 3) and the fact that it is our motivation which will be judged, not the earthly measures of our actions - whether or not they were successful - in his letter to the Romans. This is how Yeshua can state with such assurance, the success of those with the motivation of being righteous: “…they will be filled. ”
So once again, we find that Paul taught lessons which originated with Yeshua; and that we should measure our actions, not by the world’s standards, but by the Father’s standard: our own motivation!
Grace and peace to you all,