But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” [Mark 10: 24-27 ESV]
Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are filled with righteousness when entering eternity but are covered with righteousness while still in the world. We cannot be satisfied short of eternity because the abiding effect of sin is the desire to be unrighteous, the exact opposite of how God created Man. Still, God’s image in Man struggles with righteousness, seeking to attain that for which we are designed. Though, sin corrupted the image of God it did not destroy it. Even the corrupted image strives toward knowing God while battling self with the desire to place self above Him. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, even in their corrupted self, know and recognize God’s true position. They may deny they know but they know. “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them” [Romans 1:19 ESV].
Our lives, when judged by the righteousness of God, are characterized by utter, abject failure. We cannot, under any circumstance or condition, meet God’s expectations. It is impossible for us because of our total depravity. Yet, what is impossible for us is eminently possible with God. He expects us to live up to His righteous character in His strength, not our own. Without Him the only way this is possible is if we never sinned. Once we have sinned is no returning to a state of sinlessness. God’s righteous judgment against sin demands death as the sentence for rebellion. Christ died for us, in our stead. Now, when God sees us it is through the blood of His Son. He sees us as righteous even though we are not. In fact, He has not left us in this world to teach us righteousness. He left us to teach us the utter sinfulness of sin.
Our own flesh tugs and pulls us toward sin. The world in which we live tugs and pulls us toward sin. Satan does everything in his power to tug and pull us away from God. Everything in this world fights against us. Nothing this world or our flesh has to offer will in any way help us become righteous.
In this verse, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled,” the emphasis is on a continual state of need with an ultimate eternal conclusion. This fits the critical reality of a world corrupted by sin, filled with a people totally depraved, assaulted by an enemy who wants anything opposite what God wants. God is not blind. He knows our condition. Simply because He sees us through the righteous blood of His Son means neither He is blind to our sin nor are we righteous while still in the world. He will make us righteous when He decides, not when we decide. God’s immediate desire for us is that we see our need for His righteousness.
We need Him. This is not a wish or desire or want. It is a need, like we need food and water and air. We need Him. We need Him more than we need air. We need Him for our very existence. Even those who do not know they need Him, need Him. In this physical world and universe He holds all things together. In eternity only those who are His will live for they will be intimately attached to the very source of eternal life.
Right now counts forever. God uses the here and now, the present, to prepare us for eternity. Part of our preparation is to understand our total dependence upon Him. Another part is to trust Him. He will deliver what He has promised. He has promised we will be with Him. What we do now, does matter but has no influence on our place in eternity. He expects obedience. He expects failure. He expects a hungering and thirsting for Him. Because we fail, He will succeed.