My eyes widened when our server passed us our very large drinks.
Thinking she had made a mistake, I said, smiling, “We only asked for medium drinks.”
“That IS our medium,” she replied, as if I had just landed on earth.
Granted, we don’t frequent drive thrus often, but this thing was the size of a 2 litre milk carton! And THIS was their medium?
A large soda could probably quench the thirst of a family of eight!
And yet, some fast food places have another size beyond their large – the Super Size!
When would I ever be thirsty or hungry enough that I would have to order the Super Size?
“Happy are people who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because they will be fed until they are full.” (Matt 5:6 CEB)
Isn’t it interesting that Jesus used two of our greatest, inherent appetites to drive home a spiritual truth?
Yet, the word Jesus uses for hunger (peinao) doesn’t describe a mere twinge for food. It means starvation; to ardently crave! It is a voracious hunger.
He does the same with the word thirst (dipsao). This is also a strong word which means to painfully feel the need for water.
The crowd, listening to Jesus that day, certainly understood starvation and thirst. Their daily food was scarce at best. Palestine was an arid, dry country; so drinking water wasn’t always easily found.
They also had a skewed view of righteousness, due to the negative influence of the religious leaders of their day. To those whom Jesus was addressing, righteousness was something one had to work for. It often seemed well out of reach for the common man, as their religious leaders kept adding more and more rules for obtaining it.
Jesus went on to declare to the people that unless their righteousness surpassed that of the Pharisees, they would not see the Kingdom. (Matt 5:20)
How could they attain righteousness, which even their religious leaders failed to achieve?!
Jesus shattered the listening crowd’s picture of righteousness, as well as ours today, by declaring, “I AM the true righteousness that you must crave!” With this Tude2B He is telling them, “You are spiritually hungry because you have been feeding on the wrong things.”
He declares, “Only I can fill you. Only I can satisfy!”
It is to be right with God (salvation) and to live rightly before Him. In other words, as Jesus’ disciple, I must seek to do what is right ALL the time and in ALL relationships.
How can I possibly live this way?
The first three Tudes2B point us to our need. The fourth Tude2B meets the need!
As His disciple, I must hunger and thirst for HIM as the human body craves food and water. When I do, He promises to not just fill me, but to saturate me. (“Shall be filled” means to be saturated.)
But, I am not merely to hunger for Him. I must be starving for Him!
Remember the prodigal son?
He ate the pig’s food when he was hungry. It was starvation that caused him to turn to his father. (Luke 15)
Physical hunger and thirst soon reoccur, even after we have been filled. If we do not eat then our bodies do not function properly. Spirtual hunger works the same way.
We also do not need to be reminded to eat. Our bodies tell us because it is instinctive!
So too should a disciple of Christ instinctively hunger for spiritual food (the Bible, prayer, fellowship), and hunger to walk more and more like Christ.
Should eating spiritually feel like a chore?
Most of us enjoy consuming food; especially when the meal is delicious and satisfying!
Think of Christmas dinner.
All day we wait in anticipation for Christmas dinner. Then dinner is served and we eat until we think we will never hunger again! Three hours later, however, we are rummaging in the fridge for the fixings to make a turkey sandwich. The meal was so good and satisfying, we hunger for more!
Likewise, once we get a taste of Jesus and His righteousness, and realize how satisfyingly good He is… we hunger for more!
As His disciples, even a Super Size portion of Jesus and righteousness should never be enough. Many of us, instead, are spiritually malnourished. We are content with a small portion of Jesus. We are satisfied with a “slice” of the Bread of Life, mere crumbs from His Word and only a “drop” of His water.
Yet, He tells us a true disciple hungers for the whole loaf of bread and craves for all the water the well contains. We should never get to the place where we are satisfied.
Are you content with eating the pig’s food?
Are you spiritually malnourished because you spend more time on Facebook than in your “Faith Book?”
Is the sermon on Sunday the only food your soul gets for the week?
So, when would I ever be thirsty or hungry enough that I would have to order the Super Size?
When it comes to my hunger and thirst for righteousness!