The Beatitudes – Righteousness

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Passage: Matthew 5:6

As we continue our series on the Beatitudes, we come to where Jesus says…

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

When you read the word righteousness, what thoughts spring to mind? Are they positive or negative?

This week we’ll explore righteousness, dipping into the parable of the pharisee and the tax collector found in Luke 18:9-14.

Thinking a little bit about what is different about the type of righteousness that Jesus is talking about with the people on the mount?

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We see that Jesus is speaking on the mount to people who may have lost what it means to be righteous… 

He shares with them a righteousness that is 

  • UPSIDE DOWN
  • INSIDE OUT 
  • RIGHT SIDE UP

1. For them it’s UPSIDE DOWN…

Status and position were important, for the religious leaders who had it they were ‘somebodies’ but for the others on the mount they were the ‘nobodies’… Jesus’ righteousness challenges us to think about our status… and what is it that truly defines us?

2. It’s from the INSIDE OUT…

We see in the parable that the Pharisee is defined by his outward acts but that this is challenged by the tax collector, who was inwardly dependent on God.

Is it outwardly possible to make ourselves right with God on the inside? Jesus’ righteousness challenges us to think about being changed and made right from the INSIDE OUT.

3. With him it’s the RIGHT SIDE UP 

If our status and works can’t make us ‘right’ then where do we turn? 

We see in Jesus that he is righteousness. His status as God and his work, in his perfect life, death and resurrection make him the only one who is truly righteous. 

This is something he gives to us, taking our sin and giving us his righteousness. Only in him and through him do we now have a right standing before God, a right way to live life and a right way to treat others. 

EXTEND 

Thoughts for individuals or small groups.

1. Read LUKE 18:9-14 Pharisee and the Tax Collector

What strikes you as interesting about:

  • How the men approach God?
  • How they compare with each other?
  • What their prayers look like?

Whats the difference between looking ‘righteous’ and being ‘righteous’?

  • Does this passage apply to you in any way? If so, how?

2 Corinthians 5:21 

  • What does this verse tell us about God, Jesus and us?

2. Practically this week as we live our lives, let us have moments of:

THANKFULNESS!

To God who gives us this gift.. remembering that it’s earned and given by him.

TRUST! 

In him and allowing him to work in all areas of our lives. (Is there an area of your life where you find this hard?)

TURNING! 

To him for our identity, remembering that we are defined by who he is and what he’s done.

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