Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Blessed are the poor in spirit. Why not the rich in spirit? We would think that these would be the more acceptable, but see the rich young man of Matthew 19:16-23. This man had observed the Ten Commandments to the letter from his youth and could ask, “what lack I yet?”
What does one lack who still has his affections on material possessions? Selling it all and giving to the poor was too much sacrifice for him, and sorrowfully he went away from Jesus without a blessing, without comfort, and consequently without hope. Yes, in his own eyes he had never transgressed any of the Ten Commandments. His spiritual eyes were so blinded by his own righteousness that he could not see his condition, or he would have admitted, “yes, my Lord, that is just my trouble; I could not fully keep the Ten Commandments; I have transgressed: the curse of the law is upon me. What shall I do? This attitude would have been “poor in spirit.”
In Luke chapter 15 we see two brothers who portray those who are and those who are not poor in Spirit. The younger cried out: "And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son." This is a broken spirit while the older son had never transgressed and could say to his father: "Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command". His younger brother was poor in spirit but repentant; an he, the oldest son, was rich in spirit. And yet while rich in spirit, he stood out side his fathers house rebellious in his rage, without a blessing, while his younger brother was blessed and joyfully sat at his father's table newly clothed from head to foot.
The poor in spirit are those who have come under conviction of their sinful and lost condition; having become sick of sin in their lives; have become willing to forsake all sin, and have turned their whole life over to Jesus Christ being willing to do what ever He asks of them. God forgives their sins and offers them grace through Jesus Christ. Becoming poor in spirit is our first faith step heavenward. Our utter helplessness is now revealed to us by God. My earnest wish to God is that all men might become poor in spirit in such measure as to lift hands, heart, and mouth to God in fervent prayer for grace and pardon of their sins.