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

In Jesus’ description of a righteous person in Matthew 5:3-9, he included the drive to be righteous as a quality of righteousness. Motivation/drive was essential! Righteous behavior is no accident! It is NOT the attitude that says, “If it happens, it happens; if it does not, it does not.” Righteous behavior matters to the person who is godly!

Jesus described the motivation/drive as “hunger and thirst.” A hungry person thinks of food constantly! A thirsty person thinks of cool water constantly! It takes something powerful even to distract from hunger and thirst—then it is only a distraction! Before long, the person thinks of how hungry or thirsty he/she is.

This drive reminds us of the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28. The physical Jesus was born an Israelite (1) to declare God kept His ancient promise made to Abraham and (2) to return Israel to God’s purposes. In death and resurrection he became Savior to all.

The Canaanite woman, not an Israelite, begged Jesus for a miracle to benefit her daughter. Though she knew who Jesus actually was, he did not pay her attention (answer her.) The disciples asked Jesus to send her away (grant her request?) because she would not stop begging them to intercede for her. His answer, “I was sent to the lost of Israel.”

Still she pled! She even bowed before Jesus asking for help. He finally said to her that it was not proper to give her what was intended for Israelites. He classified Israelites as children and Canaanites as dogs. Still she persisted! She said that even dogs ate the crumbs that fell off the table.

Jesus was so impressed with her faith that he said, “Be it done to you as you wish.” Her daughter was healed immediately.

If Jesus granted your desire based on the amount of faith you had, what would happen? How fast would it happen? How much do you want to be a righteous person? Sometimes faith is expressed in tenacity! Christian faith always serves, and never quits!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 30 May 2010

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