The past four weeks at South Side we have been looking at what Jesus said leads to true happiness. In Matthew chapter 5 Jesus teaches us what is known as the beatitudes. In each statement Jesus makes he starts with the world “blessed,” which in the original Greek language means “happy.”
Jesus is teaching us how to truly be happy. In Matthew 5:6 Jesus says, “Happy are those who are hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled.” Understanding the fourth beatitude turns on understanding what Jesus meant by righteousness. In ancient Judaism, righteousness meant “to acquit, vindicate, restore to a right relationship.”
David Noel Freedman, vol. 5, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1996), 737. The righteous are those who maintain right relationships—with God and with the people around them. On the basis of right relationships, those who commit infractions are acquitted of guilt.
Have you received the blessing of being filled with right relationships? It flows from meekness (the third beatitude) because we can only form right relationships with others when we cease making all our actions revolve around ourselves. Do you hunger and thirst for right relationships—with God, with your co-workers, with your family, and your community?
Hunger is a sign of life. We are genuinely hungry for good relationships if we yearn for others for their own sake, not just as snack food for meeting our own needs. If we see that we have God’s grace for this, we will hunger and thirst for right relationships, not only with God, but with the people with whom we work or live.
Jesus says that those who have this hunger will be happy and will find their appetites filled. This Sunday at South Side we will take a deeper look into what Jesus said will lead to true, long-lasting happiness. Come out for a fresh up of coffee at 10:30 and worship with us at 10:45. We would love to see you and your family there!
South Side Church of Christ