5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
You may wonder why I have chosen to put the whole passage up instead of just the one Beatitude that I would write about. That is because context of the passage is greatly needed and under-appreciated. It makes and breaks everything in how we think about a passage of Scripture.
So, today, I am focusing my energies on the first Beatitude. “Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” (Matt 5:3)
Here’s what the Amplified Bible has to say:
3 Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!
What is this poor in spirit? What does it mean to be poor in spirit? Having just started the Doctrine of Christ, and gone through the Doctrines of God and Humanity and Sin, there is a deep revelation that humanity itself is the very essence of needy. But those who are poor in spirit must realize they are lacking in all areas of their life, and they have come to the realization that they are not superior, and are in fact inferior. They don’t have a haughty self reliance, but rather they realize they are dependent upon a Creator beyond their sight. BUT they are not hopeless, for they know that their Creator God has made a way for them. Jesus, the holy son of God and Man, has paved the way for us to have the kingdom of God. He was the one who proclaimed the ushering in of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, as he is the one who brought the kingdom, being poor in spirit would open the eyes to this revelation. Jesus Christ is the Savior, the one who brings the kingdom of God to those who are lacking. Jesus Christ is the only one who can redeem our souls so that they no longer are narrow visioned. Jesus Christ, the living God seated at the Right Hand of God the Father is EVER able to restore the kingdom of God to the poor in Spirit. THAT is what Salvation is. It is the restoration of the kingdom of God to man. We have a relationship with the Holy God because of the Sacrificial Son who paved the way to the kingdom.
So what is Jesus saying? He is saying those who are needy see, I am here and I will bring you the kingdom of God…only I can do such a thing because only God can bring what is God.