“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3, New Revised Standard Version).
At least to me, this first of The Beatitudes is a bit confusing. “Blessed are the poor in spirit…” Aren’t we supposed to gather the things of the Spirit? Aren’t we supposed to seek after these things of God in an effort to better prepare our way to eternity? If so, how does this verse make any sense.
When we think about being poor, we think about having little or nothing. After all, are not poor people, people who have little in the way of worldly possessions? They are people who have little or no money. Some of them may even worry about where their next meal will come from. And, we are supposed to be like that in Spirit?
Billy Graham makes the argument that we are looking at this the wrong way, but that our confusion about the meaning of this text is understandable. Graham says we need to substitute the word “humble” for the word “pure.” I think he is onto something.
I am a sinner in need of grace. I have fallen and by myself, I cannot get up. There is nothing I can do to obtain the grace. It is offered as a free gift. Without what God offers, I am nothing more than an empty vessel. Without that grace, I have no hope. Without the gift of God I cannot expect to gain the kingdom of God.
You see, it’s not about me. News flash here, it’s not about you either. In Jesus’ words in this first beatitude, it is all about God and the free grace God gives to us. What is left for you and me is, to approach God like the empty vessels we are and allow God to fill us with grace, grace we do not deserve, to accept the of the Kingdom God promises.
Then, we are called to go out into the world and share the good news of the Kingdom of God. We go out and share it with humble hearts because what we have is not of our own doing. It is because of what God is doing in us.
What is God doing in you today?
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Peace,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.