The First Beatitude January 22, 2014 – Posted in: Beatitudes
This week’s shirt is based off of Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven”.
I’ve read this verse a couple times in the past and it really confused me of what Jesus was saying. When I first took a look at it I honestly thought it was aimed at the homeless. Once I studied it more I found several other people’s thoughts of what Jesus was saying. Billy Graham said replacing the word “poor” with the word “humble”, “we must be humble in our spirits”. Another book I read stated to look at it as an adverb, “Spiritually Poor”. This made more sense to me. I don’t think it’s really a blessing to be economically poor, but sometimes it might actually come to that, especially for those that idolize money or objects.
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” Matthew 6:24
The book I read also stated that to be “poor in spirit” refers to an objective status or condition. To be “Spiritually Poor” is equivalent to being “spiritually destitute, without resource, without what one need in the spiritual realm.”
What I learned from that is that we are all poor in spirit. This status was given to us before we were even born. It’s when we realize that we are “spiritually poor” and need help to refill our condition that we then receive the kingdom of Heaven. It’s the same as sinners who need to be called and forgiven. So Jesus’ opening blessing entitles all humans to understand that they / we can never fill our spiritual poverty, but to rely solely on Jesus to fill us, restore us, and renew us.
The reign of Heaven belongs to those who realize their spiritual poverty and understand that they have no resources of their own to fill it. Because of this, Jesus pronounces them “Blessed”!
I also love how this book noted that the first two Beatitudes fit together. Kind of like a cause and effect. So we have a status in Matthew 5:3, “poor in spirit”, and then we have an attitude / or condition in Matthew 5:4, “those who mourn”. When you realize you are poor in spirit we then mourn because of our inadequacies, because we are filled with sin and need Jesus to help us, to forgive us, and to restore our union with the Father.