INNER CIRCLE: Blessed Are the Hungry

INNER CIRCLE: Blessed Are the Hungry August 19, 2023

IMAGE: Pexels

SAYING 69: Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted in their heart; these are they who have known the Father in truth. Blessed are the hungry, for the belly of him who desires will be filled.”

Here, Jesus gives us two beatitudes to consider, or perhaps to reconsider in contrast or comparison with what we find in the Sermon on the Mount passages of the New Testament Gospels.

What we find are blessings for those who are persecuted and for those who hunger. As in the canonical texts, Jesus blesses both those who suffer persecution and those who are hungry, but with slightly different outcomes. In Matthew 5:11-12, for example, Jesus says something similar about those who are reviled and persecuted for his sake:

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

In Thomas, there is no mention of suffering for the sake of Jesus, nor is there any mention of comparison with the ways that the prophets of old were treated by the people of their day. Perhaps because Jesus [in Thomas] doesn’t draw any analogies between what he is saying and doing with those who have come before him.

He also doesn’t equate the persecution with any association to himself but simply says that whenever his disciples undergo persecution – presumably because they follow and teach his message of non-separation and Oneness with God – they should take comfort in knowing that they have a true connection with God [The Father] that those who revile them cannot experience or yet understand.

The second beatitude in this saying from Thomas compares to Matthew 5:6 where Jesus says:

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

But in our text here Jesus expands this statement with a little more insight into why the hungry will be filled:

Blessed are the hungry, for the belly of him who desires will be filled.”

In other words, the desire within the person is – metaphorically – like a vacuum that cannot be resisted. It must be filled, and it will be filled simply because the desire within the person will not be satiated until it becomes filled with what it desires the most. Whether that desire is for food, or for wisdom, or for truth, or for peace of mind, matters not. What matters is that we desire the right things and seek after the things that truly matter and will satisfy us most.

So, be careful what you desire, and take note of what desires rule your heart and life. Because your belly will be filled with whatever it desires most. Therefore, let your desire be for the knowledge of God’s presence and for the reality of Oneness with the Divine rather than food or clothing or wealth which fade away quickly and reignite our desires endlessly. Instead, let us desire those things that truly satisfy us within and sustain us for life everlasting.


INSIDE/OUTSIDE: The Gospel of Thomas

Curious about the Gospel of Thomas? This self-paced online course will examine select sayings of Jesus from this text, and explain why it’s not a true “Gospel”, not truly “Gnostic” and yet, quite possibly, an authentic collection of the secret teachings from Jesus recorded by his disciples. Plus, an exploration of why the text was buried in 367 AD and uncovered in 1945.



Keith Giles is the best-selling author of the Jesus Un series. He has appeared on CNN, USA Today, BuzzFeed, and John Fugelsang’s “Tell Me Everything.” He hosts the Second Cup with Keith podcast, and co-hosts the Apostates Anonymous podcast, and the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast.

Find out more about online courses HERE>

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