Happy and blessed 5: the hungry

Happy and blessed 5:

The hungry

Three hungry Thai children.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. – Matthew 5:6 ESVUK

Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. – Luke 6:21

Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. – Luke 6:25

He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty – Luke 1:53

What are these sayings for? We recite the beatitudes as if they were platitudes, but that was not what they were intended to be. These are Jesus’ guided missiles aimed at what was wrong with religion in his day. Take the statement “For they shall be satisfied.” Who would you expect to be satisfied? The hard-working?  The pious? Not the pious, you would expect that to be the first part of the phrase that ends “theirs is the Kingdom of God.” But it doesn’t, the poor in spirit, the broken people, are the ones who are given the kingdom of God.

Bang! Jesus’ laser-guided missile finds its target.

It is the same with those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. This is no spiritual exercise. Righteousness is God’s. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are those who spend themselves for those who God’s heart is for: The poor, widows and orphans. The people who feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome strangers, tend the sick and visit the imprisoned are those who will be satisfied. It is not seeking your own satisfaction but seeking the satisfaction of the marginalised that brings satisfaction.

Luke goes further than this. It is the hungry themselves that will be satisfied, and that the full shall go hungry. Mary’s famous prophecy called the Magnificat says that the hungry will be satisfied and the rich will be sent away. This guided missile of Jesus strikes, inverting the standards of the world.


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