A Little or a Lot

Sandy Zull

READ : Amos 5:14-24

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6)

“Fill my cup, Lord,” we sing, and right here Jesus promises that he will fill it. But as with most of the beatitudes, this promise comes with a requisite demand. Jesus’ promise of filling is strictly limited to those who first “hunger and thirst.”

The hungry and thirsty in our culture are invisible to most of us. They exist primarily in the underbelly of our excessive affluence. The kind of hunger and thirst Jesus talks about here is equally desperate. Can we even imagine what it would mean to want justice like someone dying of thirst wants water?

Hunger and thirst for righteousness is not, of course, a physical craving. It is a spiritual one. In Jesus’ kingdom such desire is not just a concept or nice thought, a pious wish or polite prayer. The kind of hunger and thirst Jesus blesses is a powerful inward drive for justice, powered by passionate self-sacrificing love. This is the only law in the new kingdom. We crave righteousness so much that we will die without it. Melodramatic? Metaphorically intended? The answer matters to so many of God’s beloved ones, who depend on us to seek justice on their behalf.


Jesus, give us eyes to see so that we will hunger and thirst for your will to be done.