God's Feast For Our Famine: Beatitudes Part 3
Well hey church family so good to be with you all again this Sunday.
Mark how have you used Right Now Media? It has been a blessing for our family, and I hope it can be a blessing for some of you. I know some have looked at some of the leadership materials in there, parenting and marriage resources, as well bible study tools. Reach out to us and let us know how this is equipping you during this time.
Well church family here we are Day ____ and I wish I could sit down with all of you and hear how you are doing. In the midst of this hard season there have been evidences of God’s grace in our life and in our community. If you want go ahead and pause this video and ask yourself this important question: Where have I seen evidences of God’s grace these past 3 1/2 weeks? He is working and it’s important we set our mind on that. That’s what we’ve been talking about over the last few weeks isn’t it? How to stay focused, devoted to Jesus in an age of distraction. One of the most distracting things right now I believe is FEAR. Church family I am sure many of us can relate to the feeling of feeling stuck, nowhere to go, and feeling oppressed by fear.
82% of Taiwanese are concerned and fearful about Taiwan’s relationship with China. Every day you get more news of Covid cases, maybe Covid deaths. In America there have been cyber attacks that have taken out major companies. But how many of us know that FEAR IS A LIAR? The news, the articles, for the most part they want to use FEAR in your life as a way to break you down. This is the same tactic of the enemy of our faith, he wants you and me to fear so that we begin to respond out of fear, and not according to our faith in Christ. This is why these next 20 minutes are so vital for our lives. I know the temptation just like you to pick up my phone just waiting for some good news, for some hope, for something to settle down the anxiety. Yet Jesus has already GIVEN us the best news we could ever ask for. He’s already given us the REAL vaccine that we need church. So would you join me, in saying no to that oppressive fear, asking the Holy Spirit to let us dive in, to focus on the words of Jesus, so we can be devoted in an age of distraction?
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
If you are taking notes here is the main point of the sermon:
MPS: As disciples of Jesus we are blessed because God has responded to our famine, with a feast.
Let’s remember Jesus is teaching His disciples but the crowds are listening. (Size of towns, Jesus is drawing literally whole towns from a wide region to come and hear Him. Synagogues could only hold about 20 or 30 people. This is not a bunch of people from one town coming to listen, but this is a bunch of towns and cities from a wide region coming to listen to Jesus. In this day and age there was nothing like it) People are closing down their shops they are walking on foot great distances just to hear Jesus. They’ve heard about Him, they’ve seen His miracles, and they are coming again. A wide range of people, we said both Jews and Gentiles are being drawn to Jesus.
We’ve worked our way through the first three beatitudes and now we’ve come to the 4th. Which I will submit to you IS the CENTER of all the beatitudes.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst 愛慕公義如飢如渴的人有福了”
Jesus is describing a NEED, a DEFICIT.
Hunger and thirst
This is a basic need that we all have.
Can not live without food, can’t live without water
Longest anyone has lived without water? 18 days, some guy got left in a prison cell and the police forgot about him!
Food? 74 days, longest recorded time.
Remember Jesus is talking to people who have traveled all day, who are probably hungry and thirsty. (they probably feel this pain right now)
To us hunger pains are usually a negative thing. For most of us if we skip a meal, or skip our morning coffee we would not consider that to be a blessing! In our culture we have this word called HANGRY(hungry+angry), that means we get a little upset if we have to forgo food for a little bit of time.
But here Jesus flips that and says, no wait, if you are experiencing spiritual hunger pains, if you are experiencing spiritual thirst. YOU ARE BLESSED!
He is speaking of a spiritual desire. That as Christians, as His disciples, our desires have been transformed.
Mark,(see question in notes)
Righteousness is a big topic: a topic that drives the whole story of Scripture
There are two ways the bible talks about righteousness:
When God’s righteousness is spoken of in the Bible, it occurs in the context of his rule and reign as king and judge over his creation. What we say is that GOD BY NATURE IS RIGHTEOUS. It is who HE is and what He does is always righteous.
What about man?
Man by nature is not righteous? How many of you know that? This is no lie to anyone:
We are not good at getting better. As a human race we are sinners by nature and by choice. The more advanced we get in technology the more capacity we have to hurt one another and sin against God.
GOD=RIGHTEOUS MAN not RIGHTEOUS 神=公益的 人不是公益的
GOD=RIGHTEOUS MAN not RIGHTEOUS 神=公益的 人不是公益的
Now can man do right deeds? YES! but that does not change a persons nature into a righteous person. Look at what Jesus says here in Matthew:
For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.
So whatever this righteousness that Jesus requires is not an outward behavior. It’s not religious.
This is the problem. There has been a famine of righteousness
Look, the days are coming— this is the declaration of the Lord God— when I will send a famine through the land: not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.
「看哪！日子快到，這是主耶和華的宣告。 我必使饑荒臨到這地， 這饑荒不是因為沒有食物， 這乾渴不是因為沒有水； 而是因為聽不見耶和華的話。
as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one.
Jesus says this is the famine. There is no one who is righteous. In our world there is a famine of righteousness.
So question Jesus: how are we blessed if we are experiencing this famine, and because of that are hungering and thirsting for righteousness?
Well here is the reality church. There are plenty of people who are trying to bring their version of heaven to earth that has nothing to do with the righteousness of God, with the grace of God, with the person of God.
Handle different worldviews on bringing heaven to earth. Protests have risen all across the world haven’t they? Why? Because all people recognize that something is wrong. So now you have.....listen churcn family, we can easily get swept away into a man-centered vision of the kingdom instead of a God centered vision. Listen to this:
environmentalism (if we just make everything green)
what all these are attempts at doing is bringing their version of heaven to earth. Not bad things, but doing void of the righteousness of God,ect.
Jesus is speaking to people who are no different. These people had all experienced what other philosophies had to offer, other religions, but there was still this hunger, this deep spiritual desire that could not be fulfilled by any of that.
I want us to stop, because church family there is a real temptation right now to be drawn away into some of these other theories and ideals. Too often the church gets polluted and sidetracked when we replace Jesus’ vision of the kingdom(righteousness, peace, and joy) with a man-made vision.
Jesus is saying is that disciples of Jesus, you are blessed because have surveyed all of the existing worldviews, seen the different theories, and they have not been able to meet this spiritual need that you have deep in your soul! If you remember we said that as disciples of Jesus we recognize our spiritual brokenness, we mourn over our own sin, and over the sin in the world, last week we said we recognize we have to trust in a God who is Just while living in a world that is Not. and all of that Jesus is leading us step by step to this beatitude. All of those feelings, all of those hunger pains, have left us thirsting and hungering for something more.
Church are you hungering for something more? Are you tired of what man has to offer? Are you over the false, fake, shallow attempts of a man-centered kingdom? Have you tasted what man can do? The worst thing is being hungry or thirsty and not being able to find anything to eat. IT’s like looking for a meal and you are just left to eat the Costco samples. Not gonna work!
Well friends, this is the good news of the Gospel: God responds to our famine, our hunger, not with a taste, not with a nibble, but with a FEAST!
They will be filled
everything leads up to this(verses 3-5)
everything flows from this( we will see this next week I promise!)
“shall be filled” the verb is passive
What does He mean shall be filled? How is this used? Well remember last week we saw how to look at other verses in the bible to help us understand this one. And I can’t wait to share with you the verse Jesus alludes to here. Let’s look at the first one:
“Come, everyone who is thirsty, come to the water; and you without silver, come, buy, and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without silver and without cost! Why do you spend silver on what is not food, and your wages on what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and you will enjoy the choicest of foods.
唉！口渴的人哪！你們都就近水來吧。 沒有銀錢的，你們也要來，買了就吃。 你們要來，買酒和奶， 不用銀子，也不用付代價。 你們為甚麼用銀子去買那不是食物的呢？ 為甚麼用你們勞碌得來的去買那不能使人飽足的呢？ 你們要留心聽我的話，就可以吃美物， 使你們的心靈享受肥甘。
On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.
What is God’s response to our famine?
He doesn’t give us a nibble, He doesn’t respond to our hunger and thirst with a sip and a snack, His response to our famine is that He gives us HIMSELF. This is Jesus.
It’s Jesus that satisfies this desire. So listen spouses: your husband can not, can not, fulfill that hunger that spiritual thirst that you have. Husbands your wives can not give you enough affirmation or respect to meet that need. People can’t give you enough likes on facebook, you can’t win enough awards, it will never satisfy, it’s only Jesus. Always only Jesus.
So church family really listen to this:
what Jesus is saying here to you, and to me, is that we are blessed because this spiritual hunger, this desire that you have, can only be fulfilled by something being done FOR US, not something done BY US.(say it again) this is not man’s work, but God’s work.
Both in us (that righteousness problem we had?)
Some couple woke up and saw that 6Million NT had been deposited into their bank account. They didn’t earn it.
We don’t have it, but Jesus gives us His.
Now to the one who works, pay is not credited as a gift, but as something owed. But to the one who does not work, but believes on him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited for righteousness.
Anyone who places faith in Christ, God accredits the righteousness of Christ to their account. When this occurs, through faith alone, sinners are justified, declared righteous, before a righteous God. Justification is not dependent upon any work that humans do, but rather it is a completely free gift from God through faith. Justification both upholds God as a righteous judge, judging our sin in Christ Jesus, but also the One who declares us righteous through faith in Christ.
Jesus is not looking for impressive people to be His disciples. He is looking for people to be impressed with His Work, what He can do, what He has done!
Through us(this is what we will cover next week)
Already/not yet: it is happening now and it will happen ultimately again.
In every beatitude there is a promise that something better is coming. Jesus is essentially saying, this is something we can possess now, experience now, but will ultimately be fulfilled later.
5 Course Meal, and we are just on the first course, it’s good, but it will be nothing like the main course. Church family. That is where we are headed. That is where Christ is calling you to. Calling me to. Inviting this whole world to!
“In Christ, God forgives our sins, corrects our inordinate desires, reshapes our obedience, and overcomes those powers and persons who stubbornly resist.” John Calvin
Here is the question, do we even feel the hunger pains? Or are we too full on junk food, too full on what the world has to offer that we aren’t hungry for God?
First time at a really nice Steak House I ordered a burger. I didn’t know how to enjoy this beautiful feast right in front of me! So there I was at one of the nicest steak places sitting next to all my friends eating their steaks and I was eating a hamburger.
What about you? Are you sitting before a beautiful ribeye steak, cooked perfectly and you are there just eating some lettuce? Jesus is calling us to FEAST! Not to nibble, but to FEAST. Enjoy Him.
How are you and I trying to treat and fill that famine we feel in our souls? Are we just nibbling on junk food, waterless clouds that hold no rain? Would we come to the true feast. how does this apply to virus? being locked in the house? our deepest need is not the vaccine, our deepest hunger is not to get out of the house, our deepest need is this famine of righteousness that exists both in us, and around us. And Jesus says the good news of the Gospel is that God response to our famine with HIS FEAST. Church are you feasting on Jesus? That’s how we stay devoted to Jesus in an age of distraction.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for you shall be filled.