Jesus speaks about righteousness many times in the Sermon on the Mount—from pursuing it to being persecuted because of it (Matt. 5:6; Matt. 5:10; Matt. 5:20). We can easily think of pursuing righteousness in terms of following rules or abiding by the law. But it’s much more than that. To pursue righteousness is to live with an unrelenting desire for justice and holiness. It’s like selling all our possessions in order to buy the field where we know treasure is buried (Matt. 13:44-46).
But we don’t engage in this pursuit out of obligation or anxiety. Jesus taught that the man who sold everything to buy the field did it out of joy (v. 44). You would be joyful, too, if you believed you were gaining something worth more than all your possessions combined. And this is how we should understand God’s love for us: Nothing on earth can compare to the riches we have in Him.
Think about it
• Is there a difference between those who seek righteousness and those who are righteous?
• What does a hunger and thirst for holiness and justice look like in today’s world? How would you describe what it means to be satisfied in that pursuit?