Poor in Spirit

“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3

Have you ever been hopelessly lost? I know I have…lots of times. Like a typical male, I hate asking for directions and so most of the time I end up getting even more lost before I will finally admit defeat.

One time, a friend asked me to come hear him speak but, while I was on the road, I got hopelessly lost. After driving around for 30 minutes I finally pulled over and asked for directions. As I pulled up to the church, I rushed in and made it just in time…to hear him finish. Looking back on the situation I now know that the true problem was my heart.

It’s not that the roads were labeled incorrectly, it was that I thought I didn’t need any help. I was proud and refused to admit my weakness and it ultimately caused me to miss out a real blessing- getting to hear my friend speak.
This verse is unique because it is the first verse of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5-7. Usually, the first few words set the whole tone of what is to follow and this verse is no different. In this verse, Jesus uses a unique phrase “poor in spirit” and links it with the kingdom of heaven.

Some people think this means you have to be depressed or poor for God to use you, but this is not what Jesus is talking about. Simply put, someone who is “poor in spirit” is someone who realizes that they are hopelessly lost apart from Christ.

Christians are people who admit they need help because they have nothing to offer in themselves. This means that Jesus has to be everything to them.

The problem is that we pretend that we don’t need help and in the end we miss out on a huge blessing- trusting Jesus. In God’s kingdom, the math doesn’t work like it does on Earth. In God’s kingdom, Jesus + the nothing that we bring = everything.

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