Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” What does it mean to be poor? Which poor people was Jesus talking about? What makes them blessed? What does this have to do with me?
There’s poor as in “more month than money” and I don’t have enough to pay my bills. There’s poor as in “those poor people in Houston hit by Hurricane Harvey.” Are poor people poor because of laziness, or at the hands of cruelty by another? A woman was found murdered in Fargo, North Dakota a few weeks ago; “that poor lady”. Perhaps Jesus means a special kind of person who is poor because he or she sacrifices worldly wealth to pursue service to Him, such as Mother Theresa.
The key to understanding Jesus is when He said, “the poor in spirit.” These are the people who are humble and dependent on Him, not the arrogant or self-sufficient type. “Poor in spirit” people know they are in need of the Savior and they look for their fulfillment and satisfaction in Him, not worldly pleasures or the approval of man. For the poor in spirit, they are valuable and receive the blessing of God; it is to them that the kingdom of heaven belongs. Those who are poor towards this world and rich towards God enjoy a special privilege in God’s kingdom right now. They are blessed. They have His favor upon them. They are His disciples, His adopted children, through forgiveness of sin in Jesus. This is why Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
If you are a Christian today, poor in spirit, then you are blessed. This is the reality you live in, the reality of who you are in Christ. You can claim this blessing today and walking in this newness of life! The promise of the kingdom of heaven is yours to have. It is a hope worth living for.