Thursday, October 24, 2013


I'm going to say something that may not be immediately understood. Bear with me and read on, if you will. To hunger for the things God may keep you from experiencing God. I'm not saying that to hunger for Him is wrong, obviously. Quite the contrary. It says in Matthew 5:6,  "Blessed are those who DO hunger and thirst after THE Righteousness for they and they alone, will be filled." Notice, the definite article is in the original. When Righteousness is used that way, with the definite article before the word, it is a reference to Christ Himself, who is our Righteousness. So to hunger for more of Christ is essential, and a good thing, to say the least.

But it isn't just any kind of hunger It is a right now [as opposed to later] continual hunger  as shown by it being in the present tense in the Greek text. Also, don't ever fail to see that the verse is saying that the people who really do hunger for Him will be continuously filled. And THAT is in the present tense as well. How can you be both "continually hungry and continually filled" at the same time? You can see this is not your ordinary hunger OR your ordinary filling is it! It really is a special kind of both hunger and filling. Permit me to explain.

I want to demonstrate this really rich truth by showing what is meant in scripture when we're told to hungry for and thirst for Christ. Let me show this by explaining some of the very little bit I know of the original language of scripture. In the Greek language verbs like hunger and thirst are normally followed with what's called a genitive case which is expressed simply with our word "of." In fact, it's called the "partitive genitive" or the genitive of "the part." So, a Greek person who might be talking about being hungry or thirsty would use the genitive case when requesting food or drink. He or she would say, "I hunger for of [genitive] bread." That doesn't make sense to us, but to him it makes perfect sense. He means he wants some bread or a piece of bead, but not the whole loaf. He would also say, "I thirst for of [genitive] water," meaning a drink of water but not all the water in the lake.

So Matthew 5:6, were it to be written with the genitive case, which is normal when talking about hungering and thirsting, in the Greek language, would read this way, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst of [genitive] righteousness, for they shall be filled."

But__here's the deal__Matthew 5:6 doesn't have the normal genitive case at all. It has the accusative case. When the accusative is used with verbs like hungering and thirsting after bread or water, instead of the genitive, it means, hungering and thirsting after the whole loaf or the whole lake of water.

In other words, Matthew 5:6 doesn't mean we are to hunger and thirst for a little bit more of righteousness at all. It isn't that we're just seeking bits and pieces of righteousness. We are seeking all of righteousness there is. Did you get that? We are seeking the totality of righteousness and that only means  Christ Himself or all of Him there is. That's why the definite article is in the original language just before the word 'righteousness.'

What a tremendous truth. In the here and now, we have Christ living in us, to be sure, and so, we are to be [present tense] continually hungering and thirsting for all of Him to be experienced in our lives. Not little bits and pieces of Him, but the whole of who He is in us. We are to continually hunger for HIM.

But we don't experience all of Him there really as of yet at all, do we! It is said in scripture that in the here and now, [present tense] we only see through a glass darkly. This is true in spite of the fact that the Spirit of God has been given to us to show us, in the here and now, [present tense again] things that the eye can't see, the ear hasn't heard and the things that haven't even entered the human mind.  [1 Corinthians 2:9-10]  With all that we now have in Christ, there is yet even more to come. He will be coming back to this earth one day and we shall know then, when He does return, even as we're known. So much now and so much more then. WOW!

This means to experience fully the present blessedness for Christians, according to Matthew 5:6, the key lies in the realm of a continual hunger and thirst to experience all of Christ that we now can know. So it isn't a hunger or thirst to get more, be better, or do more, to be successful, or do great things, or even a desire to go to church, read the bible more, pray more, or witness more, as good as ALL those things are.

Those are the things of God, but hungering ONLY for those may cause you to miss God. [Thus, the title] It is a hunger to simply experience the totality of the One who is Himself our righteousness__ our Lord and life__right here in the here and now. That is what Jesus is speaking about. [Doing all those other good things will come but they are really only a by-product and result of experiencing Him personally.]

And so the 'hungering and thirsting" goes on. And we cry out with David, "I will be satisfied only when I awake in thy likeness and I will not be satisfied until I do."

By the way, did you notice that Jesus is commending the on-going hunger and thirst for the experiencing of the whole of Him who is our righteousness__as opposed to__ the  possession of that righteousness. We DO possess Him as our righteousness, to be sure. But in Matthew 5:6 Jesus is commending the hunger and thirst to experience all of Him whom we now possess.

Remember the Pharisees were thrilled by the singular thought that they possessed righteousness because of being the physical seed of Abraham. They didn't of course. But it was enough for them to even think they did possess righteousness. That thought, the possession of something, false though it was for them, doesn't necessarily produce hunger. It can produce pride as it did in the Pharisees.

But what Matthew is recording Jesus to be saying is that we're to see our blessedness to be in the continual hungering and thirsting for an experiencing of the One who is Himself our righteousness. Someone I read once called this a Christian's "Divine Discontent" that results in being filled. And the filling experienced is something just as strange, to the natural mind at least, as is the continual hunger. To us it's phenomenal. Let me explain this in conclusion.

At the beginning of this verse Jesus said "Blessed." ["Oh the blessedness of.."]  But at the end of the verse he says "filled." There isn't time to say everything about that word 'filled,' but basically, it's a word used to speak of feeding an animal to the point of it being absolutely and completely satisfied. It is no longer hungry. It's like you eating your favorite food until you can't eat another bite. Totally satisfied.

Here is an amazing, fabulous, totally incomprehensible paradox?  You hunger and thirst continually for an experiencing of all of Christ, and you're satisfied totally and completely as if you're no longer hungry or thirsty at all...ever.

The word here is Chortazo and t's a word that means to be really filled and needing nothing else. It's so great to be around people who are like this, is it not!  People who really are satisfied and seem to be content with things AS THEY ARE. Things don't seem to shake them, whether good or bad. They aren't always looking for things to get better or be different either. Contentment really does seem to be the order of the day for them.

But what is incomprehensible is that those very people, while really satisfied and content with the reality of whatever life holds, are at the same time people who are constantly hungry and thirsty to experience the reality of the Christ Who is their very life. Always hungry and yet always satisfied.

Scripture says it this way.

Psalm 107:9, "He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness."  

 Psalm 34:10, "But they that seek the Lord shall not be lacking any good thing." 

Psalm 23:1
, "I shall not want." [That's because the Shepherd is all they need.]

Jesus said it this way, "Oh the blessedness of those who are continually hungry and thirsty to experience all of Me, [Christ is our righteousness remember] for they, and they alone, are being constantly filled to overflowing."  [Matthew 5:6]

I know this is not easy reading. So, may I suggest you read it again...and again...and...

Paul B.


Aussie John said...


:) :) Can't stop smiling!

"But what is incomprehensible is that those very people, while really satisfied and content with the reality of whatever life holds, are at the same time people who are constantly hungry and thirsty to experience the reality of the Christ Who is their very life. Always hungry and yet always satisfied".

I love that last sentence!

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J,

I LOVE it when you smile. I'm encouraged when you're encouraged. And I delight hearing about both when you comment as you've done today and in the past. Thanks my friend and brother.

Wade Burleson said...


Paul Burleson said...


Thanks and thanks for commenting.

I've heard all my life that when a son [or daughter] says something and the parents comment favorably about it, it puts a certain stamp of credibility on it that the son [or daughter] cherishes.

Put the word "Dad" in the place of "son" in both places and the word "kids" in the place of "parents" and you'll see what I feel about your comment.

I appreciate your comment more than you know.