Matthew 5:6-7 – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Every November in America we begin to think about turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, eggnog, and develop a craving for the Thanksgiving meal ahead. When we get to the end of the meal, we may declare ourselves to be completely ‘stuffed.’ In the same way, Jesus commends those who pursue Him with a God-given hunger and thirst for righteousness. Jesus says those who are eager to live as God requires shall be chortazomai, a graphic word used for the fattening of animals. It implies being stuffed. Filled full to overflowing! We develop cravings for what we feed on. If we feed on junk food, we’ll develop ongoing cravings and consequences. If our “food” is to do the will of Jesus (Jn. 4:34), continually feeding on Him, we’ll have daily cravings for more and ongoing satisfaction with the fruit of our lives (Galatians 5:22-24).
One of the results of a life that is pursuing living as Jesus requires, is someone consistently showing mercy to others. Having recognized that God doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, we are compelled towards a generous attitude with others. Jesus commends merciful people because He later says that the measure they use will be measured back to them by His Father on judgment day (Matt. 6:12, 14-15; 7:1-2). Later in the Gospel of Matthew we see Jesus tell the Pharisees, “go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, rather than sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners (9:13).”
Heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for your work in our lives to not only crave your will but to be filled with your love and power in such a way as to be satisfied from doing it. Help us to remain humble and merciful towards everyone around us, remembering that apart from you we can do nothing. Holy Spirit, have your way today in Jesus’ name, Amen.