The Sermon on the Mount (Continued)

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The Sermon on the Mount (Continued) – 12 October 2006

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 dramatically worldwide.

“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.
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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