“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of God.” Matthew 5:3.Sometimes it is easy to pass over parts of the Lord’s word when it seems difficult or confusing. Some of the most beautiful passages of scripture can tempt us to do so and in doing that, we lose the great depth that they offer. Consider: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of God.” Matthew 5:3. We have all, no doubt, heard many a sermon on the “beatitudes.” But I admit that their great depth has alluded me until recently when in my studies on humbleness I decided to get my spiritual shovel out and dissect this idea. Our Savior begins His pronouncement of “blessings” with those who are poor in spirit. Now, I’ve always argued that each word in the text is there for a reason and the order is divinely inspired as well. There are no “happenstances” or “accidents” in the Bible. It is all intentional. So, when we look at these few short words that our Savior began His famous sermon with seem pretty important to me. So, I dug in.
Blessed= fortunate, well off: - blessed, happy. This seems ok, until one considers the state of the happiness is tied to something that seems the opposite: “poor in spirit.” Just the thought of being poor in spirit seems ad odds with the idea of being happy and blessed right? Nope, not really when you consider the REAL meaning, then all is clear: The word for ‘poor’ in Greek is ‘Ptochos’ which literally means having nothing, reduced to begging, like a beggar, totally broke. We usually think of being broke as a bad thing, right? Wrong again. Consider the person that is totally spiritually broke. Here are some examples from great men of God:
Isaiah 66:1-2: “Thus says the LORD, “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? “For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being,” declares the LORD. “But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.”
Isaiah 57:15: “For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
Ps 51:17: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
So when we consider that an individual who has given up her will to the Father and realizes she is nothing without Him, it is at that place that she is happy and blessed because she finds comfort in nothing else but the word of the Lord. It is at that point that all fear and doubt and pain fall away…her spirit is renewed and refreshed as she fills herself with the hope of her eternal home.
Blessed? Happy? I’d say so…but only through her bankruptcy….in the realization that she is poor…without anything without her Master.