Matthew 5:6 - Created to Need

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied.”  
- Matthew 5:6

Isn’t it interesting that Jesus is talking here about a spiritual desire here, but the words he uses to describe it are ones related to our physical bodily needs? He does not say we long for righteousness or pine for it, he says we are hungry and thirsty for it. More strikingly, this is far from the only time that Jesus compares our need for him, and for the righteousness that he imparts, in terms of food or drink. In John 4:14 and 7:37, he refers to himself in terms of wellsprings of water. In John 6:48 he describes himself as bread. This language is all through scripture, from Isaiah to Revelation! The word of God is described as more life-giving than bread, the psalms describe David’s soul as hungry for God, as panting after Him like water. Is it just a coincidence that this point is made so often? Perhaps it is just a very accessible metapor to drive home to us how very essential our need for Christ really is. Surely that is part of it, but maybe there is more to it than that? Maybe God is telling us something about himself, something about us as his creation.
 

 

Colossians 1 tells us that all things were created by and for Jesus and held together in him. There are no accidents with Christ, his creative power is not aimless. Why are our entire beings, physical, emotional, mental, and physical created in such a perpetual state of need? We need food, water, and rest. We need the love and companionship of other humans, in marriage, in family, in fellowship. We need purpose and vision, edification and motivation. We need truth and beauty. We desperately need the righteousness of Christ. We are created lacking essentials that can only be provided outside of ourselves.

Jesus always creates imperfect and
incomplete creations

It can feel like this perpetual condition of need is sinful, or evidence of sin. After all, haven’t we all heard that if we have enough faith and trust in the Lord we will be perfectly content? In a sense this is true, in that when we seek his kingdom first, he supplies all of our needs. If, however, he created us, intentionally and according to his perfect will, with all of this need, and he describes our quest for his righteousness in terms of approval for physically overwhelming desire akin to our basic physical drives, can it be unrighteous to be filed with need, desire, or longing for the good gifts of the Lord, which he created us to pursue?

“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
-C.S. Lewis

Yes, we are created unfulfilled, yes we are created specifically to need, and to find the fulfillment of our need, physical and spiritual in Christ. We are not in sin to join all of creation in waiting and groaning for the satisfaction of all that we lack. One definition of sin is seeking autonomy apart from Christ and seek to supply all our own needs according to our own insufficient resources instead of seeking first the living water that never runs dry, the bread of life that never fails to satisfy, and the face of God in whom we live and move and have our being.

Jesus always creates imperfect and incomplete creations. He disfigures us with need that is only satisfied by that which is outside of, and foreign to, ourselves - the body with food, the man with the woman, the created being with the creator - and he promises to supply all our needs in and from himself according to his limitless riches. Our father created us to hunger and thirst but he has a thousand cattle on a thousand hills and does not forsake the righteous or suffer his children to hunger for the bread that fills the body or the bread that satisfies the soul.

posted by Daily,
September 04 18

Daily Nourish serves to encourage Christians to honor God with all their heart, mind, soul & strength and to love their neighbor as themselves. Thanks for stopping by! Davina

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