In Matthew 5, Verse 6, Jesus continues His teaching by saying:
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for
they shall be satisfied.”
~ New American Standard Bible
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled.
~ King James Version
As far as the use of the word “righteousness” is concerned in this
verse, the Bible commentaries and The Amplified Bible place emphasis on
personal “uprightness and right standing with God.”
I see the use of the word “righteousness” as having a broader
application. To my knowledge, the Greek word that is translated into
English as “righteousness” also means “justice.” Therefore, my personal
understanding of “hungering and thirsting for righteousness” is
expressed not only in the desire for my acceptance by God as a born
again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, but also in my desire for
justice for those who are falsely accused and scapegoated in this fallen
world – we know that even the Lord Himself suffered such injustice!
Therefore, to limit one’s hunger and thirst for righteousness to
one’s own longing for personal justification, or for a right
relationship to God, seems a bit self-centered, especially when, besides
the suffering of humans, there is the injustice of a living hell that
billions of “food” animals endure and whose numbers are increasing
“The Pulpit Commentary” (Volume 15, page 149) has an interesting
comment concerning the word “filled” used in Matthew 5:6. In Plato’s
time the Greek word that is used in the Beatitudes for “filled” was the
word that meant “to be filled with animal fodder or grass,” and was used
in a derogatory way. In the New Testament and in Modern Greek the word
for “filled” (as in “having enough to eat”) has the same derivation.
Also in Modern Greek, the word for leafy vegetables or greens is the
same as the root word used in Plato’s time – χόρτα, (transliterated:
horta; and hortassa with the accent on the first syllable means “I am
filled” or “I have eaten enough”).
Also interesting is this “Pulpit Commentary” anecdote: “St. Austin,
wondering at the overflowing measure of God’s Spirit in the Apostles’
hearts, observes that the reason why they were so full of God was
because they were so empty of His creatures.” Reading this set me to
thinking about the early Church Fathers who were vegetarians and whose
personal habits were a far cry from the warped self-indulgence exhibited
by the hijacked “Christianity” that became so popular later.
This should give most professing Christians some food for thought.