Blessed are the Hungry

We are familiar now with Jesus’ propensity for shocking or counter-intuitive statements! How could the poor be blessed? How could the meek inherit the earth? And now – how could those who hunger and thirst be satisfied? In the beatitudes Jesus travels into the ordinary human experience and charms it into His Kingdom’s values. We all experience human desire. It is perhaps the most present and common emotion or set of drives. The desire for food is with us each and every day. We who have the privilege of abundant food share this drive with those who want for food. It is perhaps the human need with which we can best sympathize and respond to.

In some trips to the country of Uganda I have loved hearing my brother pastors with rich African accents at the end of a meal state “I am satisfied.” It is an indication of gratitude and contentment. Jesus says that there is an object of desire that can be satisfied. That is righteousness. We don’t often associate that phenomenon with satisfaction. We think of it in legal terms, terms of requirements, standards. What is it? It is the state of doing and being right. It is moral and ethical goodness. It is what God is. Perhaps we can envision our Father at the beginning of the day asking us what we want for that day or week or season and we simply answer “I want to be like you!”

Jesus said that if we want that we will be satisfied.