Survivors of the Andes plane crash did not want or like to eat human flesh, but they were hungry and when a person is hungry, there are no limits – he will pay whatever he needs to pay and do whatever he needs to do. Sixteen of the 45 passengers on board the plane which crashed in the Andes in the 1970s only survived because they ate human flesh.
The Lord Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)
The characteristic of a person who hungers and thirsts for righteousness is obedience to the voice of God, no matter what needs to be done – if they feel like it or not, decisions have to be made, if they have to leave someone behind, what will they lose, who will like it, etc.?
When someone hungry they do not waste time with the opinions of others because hunger is individual. In other words, no one can eat for them and they cannot eat for anyone else.
There are two people in the Bible who can show us the difference between hunger and religiosity. One was the rich young ruler who, despite having money and keeping the commandments, he knew that something was lacking in him because nothing fulfilled him. The Lord Jesus knew exactly what his problem was, so He told him to sacrifice but, because he was not hungry, he went away feeling sad; he didn’t have the strength to obey.
The other was Zacchaeus who was not liked by the people. He was a tax collector, who was short in stature and a thief, but hunger moved him to climb a tree and then come down quickly when the Lord Jesus called him. When there is hunger, there is no delay; hunger does not wait and does not accept excuses.
Zacchaeus did not need the Lord Jesus to show or tell him anything; he knew what he had to do and did it. He decided to repair his life with God, and didn’t wait for the crowd to leave, nor did he need time to think things over, or talk about it first with his family! He was hungry and did what he had to do so, the Lord Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house”. He ate like never before.
Religious people know what they have to do, but they lack hunger, so they’re overcome by feelings, emotions and excuses. They does not have the strength to obey and live in the discipline of the Kingdom of Heaven. Even though his intentions are good, his only guarantee is, there is always something missing and there are always people around to blame.
When a person hungers and thirsts for righteousness (God), he has the strength to take action, make decisions, walk on his own two legs and walk away from what is wrong – like sin, things and people which prevent him from being filled, from being a source of life through the baptism with the Holy Spirit.