Kingdom Manifesto: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matt 5:6)

1. Read Luke 6.20-26 incarnationally, where do you find yourself in the text?
2. Read Matthew 5.1-12 alongside Luke 6.20-26. What similarities do you see? What differences are recorded? Why might that be so?
3. What is Matthew trying to communicate differently than Luke? Do the differences devalue the Words of Jesus? How might they add value to the overall message of the Gospel?
4. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.” Matthew 5.6 Who comes to your mind when you think of this kind of person? What is it about them that fits this description?
5. Is there any of your story found in this verse?
6. At the soul level, “what is bothering you?” At times being able to self diagnose what is really bothering you brings clarity to the condition of the soul, and the truest desire of the soul. What’s bothering you?
7. How is God at work in the deepest spaces of what’s bothering you?
8. How is His will being accomplished in you and through you as you allow Him to heal that which is bothering you?
9. Read the paraphrase of Matthew 5.6 and answer the following questions. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [“who burn with desire for things to be made right.. . . in themselves” or in others], for they will be filled.
What would the person closest to you say is your deepest desire?
In what ways do you see brokenness and desire to see it made whole?
10. Review the “righteousness” statements in the Sermon on the Mount. 5.6, 5.10, 5.20, 6.1, 6:33. In your own words define the righteousness as described by Jesus.
11. How is righteousness descriptive of a relationship with God rather than the ethical quality of a person?
12. How often do you get lost in righteousness being about something you do, or you earn, or you achieve?
13. How is righteousness received?
14. Using Scripture what are some outcomes of righteousness?
15. Read and reflect on the thoughts of J.D. Walt. What if righteousness is actually the supernatural holy love of God expressed through and among ordinary human beings in the course of everyday life? What if righteousness is the human flourishing of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in our everyday relationships? What if righteousness is the convergence of all of the fruit of the Spirit breaking forth in the human community? This would be a different kind of community, wouldn’t it? This would be a beautiful and even arresting kind of people, wouldn’t it? This would be nothing short of the divine presence of God clothed in human flesh. Yes, that would be Jesus, and yes, Jesus is the way and the truth and the life—in us.
16. What would life look like for you today if His righteousness was simply expressed in genuine acts of love? How have you been a recipient of this kind of righteousness?
17. What’s the connection between righteousness and justice? How is that connection expressed in the local church?
18. What’s your personal experience with “self-righteousness?” How do you protect yourself from drifting into it?
19. Read 1 Corinthians 1.28-30. How does this text encourage you in the places where you are most personally bothered?
20. Jesus says “we will be filled.” What does that actually mean? What does “being filled” mean?
21. We are at once filled, and being filled. How do we wait for God to fill us? How can those in your Faith Family encourage you as you wait in hope?