Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. (Luke 6:21a)
As Jesus continued in the Beatitudes, He again speaks in a simultaneous literal and figurative manner, addressing the very poor and hungry people in front of Him but also referring to their spiritual state and the promises of God.
The Greek Foundation
Last week we mentioned how the word for “blessed” means to be well off and happier. In the same way, Jesus speaks of how those who are hungry now are blessed because they will be satisfied. What does that mean exactly to be hungry and being satisfied?
The word “hungry” (peinaō) in the Greek, means to be needy, to famish, or to figuratively crave. The people Jesus was talking to were literally hungry because of the oppression under Roman rule, but they also were looking towards their Messiah to come. It’s that spiritual craving that Jesus addresses as He said, “for you shall be satisfied” and we know that because the word “satisfied” (chortazō) in the Greek, means to fodder, supply food in abundance, fill, satisfy. To fodder animals is directly related to Jesus being our Shepherd and Him feeding us Himself as we commune with Him.
The Promised Care
When we look at Matthew 6, it also gives insight to the two needs God says He’ll take care of: food and clothing. We know He never promised a house, car, etc. He actually said the exact opposite in Matthew 8, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20) when someone told Him they would follow Him wherever He went. He also promised abundance and eternal life for everyone who gives up houses, family, and land for His name (Matthew 19:29).
The idea of food, in both literal and spiritual senses, is something of great importance to God. He knows that physical food sustains our flesh, and that He as our spiritual food sustains our spirits. When Jesus says that someone is blessed for being hungry, we can see the blessing right in the last section because our satisfaction will be brought about by Him. He will physically and spiritually feed us, and THAT is a true blessing from our loving creator and Father.
If you’re feeling spiritually starved, I encourage you to sit at His feet and be blessed as you eat of the Word that He gives you. I promise you will be satisfied. I’ll leave you with this last verse to encourage you:
For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. (Psalm 107:9)