|photo credit: Ansel Edwards Photography via photopin cc|
In Matthew 5:1-12 Jesus shares the secrets for real happiness. The first secret is that those who recognize they need Gods help will be blessed. Then it’s those who repent of their sins who are blessed. Then it’s those who are gentle who are blessed. Now Jesus says that those who hunger will be blessed. Notice Jesus never mentions money. He never mentions new earrings and diamond studded necklaces. He never mentions a boyfriend or a girlfriend. He never mentions Vodka or Heineken. He never mentions sex or the party life. Instead, he mentions things people never think would bring them happiness. It gets so bad that Jesus even says "happy are the hungry"! How do we make sense of this?
First, it’s important for us to understand that we don’t know hungry. You see, when Jesus tells his audience “happy are those who hunger” he’s not talking about the kind of hunger that we often experience. Here in America we have tons of food. It reminds me of a jungle Indian who came to America for the first time and was blown away by the supermarkets. So he went back home and told the people of his tribe that in America “there are huge buildings just full of food and you can take whatever you want and it’s free!” He said. All you have to do is show them what you are taking and then you give the person this plastic card and they are so nice that they just give it back to you and there you have it, a cart full of food! For the most part, we don’t really know what it’s like to be hungry so when Jesus says, “happy are those who are hungry” we don’t really get it. Jesus isn’t talking about some hunger pang you get between breakfast and lunch. He’s talking about an ardent and powerful desire to eat. He’s talking about craving with every ounce of you. He’s talking about being so hungry, you can’t think about anything else.
Second, its important to understand that we do know hungry. In our society people are hungry. Not physically no. That's not what I'm talking about. As a matter of fact, that's not even what Jesus is talking about. Soul hunger. That's what Jesus is talking about. Its the hunger that gnaws at you. Its the hunger that begs to be satisfied. Society likes to pretend it has the answer. It provides us with endless amusements and distractions to help us forget the hunger. Oh, don't get me wrong - they are fun! But it always comes back. When you lay in bed at night and cant fall asleep you remember. One relationship, four, six, eight - how many people have you dated in the past 10 years? Still empty. Still hungry. Jack Daniels told you he had the answer but you woke up the next morning and realized he was a liar - him and all like him. Success, popularity, and even religion have let you down. Nothing seems to satisfy the hunger. And its true. There is nothing. Not a thing. The reason? You are not a thing that needs another thing to make you complete like a flashlight in need of batteries. No! You are a soul. And the only thing that can satisfy you is to go back to the arms of your maker. Jesus is your creator. You came from his finger tips and only he can satisfy your hunger.