Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
This is the first truth Jesus spoke to the crowd of people seeking hope. Christ’s words seem confusing and conflicting in today’s world. Blessed are the poor?? Does that sound right? Let us look at the definitions of the words used then we will put them together to understand the truth Jesus shared.
Blessed is another word for “happiness”or “fortunate”.
We see someone who seems to be above all the pressures of life and is at peace we would say that person is “blessed”. Arn’t we all looking to be that person in this life. To find the answer to worry, fear and insecurity? To be blessed is seemingly a quality of existence and outlook on life that finds joy and satisfaction in any situation.
Poor – the Greek word ptōchos (po-huas) – beggary, asking of alms, palper, poor.
The image is of a beggar who has nothing and his only means of survival is at the mercy of others. Image these two words together in one sentence. Talk about an oxymoron! It belongs with other combinations like “jumbo shrimp”, “good grief”, or “the silence was deafening”. These two words do not seem to make since on the surface but there is a truth involved here that is profound and a sign of God at work.
Since Adam’s sin darkness has ruled the hearts of men. It has ruled the spirit of a man. the spirit part of you is the reasoning, thinking, and feeling part of you. It is the part that justifies your actions and determines your self worth. Sin always builds it’s self up. We become self righteous and proud of our achievements and abilities. However in this pool of self righteousness sin sets up addictions, anger, jealousy and other dark thoughts and emotions which lead to sinful actions.
When Jesus spoke – His Spirit (the Holy Spirit) spread through that whole crowd and the hearts of men were awakened.
A sudden awareness of the presence of Holiness laid bare the lack of holiness in man’s heart. Just like in Luke 5:1-10 Jesus spoke to a crowd using Simon’s boat. After the message Jesus asked him to go back out into the lake and fish. Simon said “we have fished all night and caught nothing” (which is an illustration of an empty life without Christ), “but at your command we will go”. They went out and suddenly an abundance of fish were caught. Notice the effect this realization of Holiness had on Simon in Luke 5:8 “When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” Jesus said your life is about to change course for the better.
When Jesus began to speak the very first sign of awakening to the new life in Christ is an awareness of our own need.
An awareness of our own emptiness of righteous. It is that poor in spirit that brings us to the cross in need of Christ’s forgiveness and cleansing.
It is good to be poor spirit. It is blessed to be poor in spirit. It is wonderful to know Christ is a river of Holiness that will poor into our empty hearts the life and light of God and truth. Come to a place in His presence where you say “I am a sinful man and do not desire your mercy” and watch Christ reach out to you and put His light-n-side.