Saturday, October 08, 2016

Fresh Studies in Matthew: Matthew 5:6

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”  Almost as enigmatic as verse 5, at least for me.  I wonder if the original audience found them so.  What kind of righteousness?  Not one’s own righteousness—always a bad thing in the Bible to depend on one’s own righteousness, if it even exists.  It means true righteousness, right standing expressed in right behavior before God and humans, the first being grace and the second requiring at least good decision-making but not self-oriented efforts of the will.
“They shall be filled” implies passive, that it will come from another.  Whatever that drive or emptiness is will be met, but he doesn’t say when or how here.  We are afraid of “righteousness” because we confuse it with self-righteousness and pridefulness and prudishness, “goody-two-shoes-ness.”
We each have our own sin.  I want to be righteousness before God, which for me means watching my mouth mostly and my reactions, but there is more to it than that.  It is treating everyone rightly, fairly, lovingly, even the person who disappoints me the most.  Love is not the opposite of righteousness, either, but an expression of it.

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