What Does It Mean to Hunger and Thirst After Something?
To hunger and thirst after something is somewhat of an abstract idea. We can't eat or drink ideals any more than we can eat the physical muscular mass of Jesus Christ or drink his blood. No, the saying simply means to seek something with a voracious attitude. A starving man will steal from a grocery store, despite all sorts of barriers and detriments being put up to prevent such a thing. But of course, that starving man will eventually stop being hungry and thirsty when he dies, as he'll have nothing to fill up anymore. The same too will be the case with those of us who hunger and thirst.
What Is Righteousness? Back to Top ↑
When Jesus asked John to baptize him, John initially didn't want to. But Jesus said unto him,
Most people have an idea of what righteousness is in their head. Does your conception of righteousness meet these two biblical conditions? John the Baptist, even though he doubted Jesus,(Matthew 11:2-3.) also came in the way of righteousness, and this righteousness was something for all to repent towards.(Matthew 21:32.) But of course, the Pharisees had their own righteousness(Matthew 5:20.) and would not leave it to take up John's.
So what exactly is righteousness? It's a man's personal belief of what he must be or do to be found worthy of God. This is why Jesus said,
It's a bit of a trick question. They both had their own righteousness. The Pharisees righteousness was of their own making, while Lazarus had God's righteousness. The rich man whose gate Lazarus laid outside of also had his own righteousness too, but he was found unworthy and sent to hell.(Luke 16:22-23.)
This also answers whose righteousness these starving and thirsty people should seek: God's. If you have another righteousness, then there is no room for God's. That is why Jesus said,
Why Shall People Who Hunger and Thirst for God's Righteousness Be Filled? Back to Top ↑
It is simply by putting aside our own righteousness and taking up God's righteousness that we can be found worthy to enter the kingdom of Heaven. This was, of course, Jesus's whole message when he said,
The righteousness and our entrance into heaven are one and the same. Without God's righteousness, we may be invited to the kingdom, but we will not be found worthy. In the Parable of the Wedding Feast, a man was invited to come to the wedding, but he came without a garment.
Many are called to God, we can open up any map and search in "church" to see the truth of this plainly, but those that do not have God's righteousness will not be chosen. Jesus told us very plainly,