When Jesus used the word “blessed” and “poor” in the same sentence, He rocked the boat of modern thinking.
When Jesus started His sermon in Matthew 5 with “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” He intentionally sent a bold message that the way of God’s kingdom is inverse to the ways of worldly thinking.
Instead of asserting that the rich and the “better off” inherit God’s kingdom, Jesus said it was the poor – to be specific, the poor in spirit. He deliberately stated that those who live “less of themselves” inherit all that God is and has. He stated that the “wealthy” were those who actually come to the Lord broken, humble, and empty of pride.
The “poor in spirit” whom Jesus was talking about had nothing to do with earthly possessions. Instead, the poor in spirit were those who knew who their sinful self was, and didn’t want to live that way anymore.
Two things are significant to emphasize in this passage: first, the “poor” are not poor in wealth or worldly goods – either from the point of disadvantaged poverty or by choice – but those who have come to a point of full and utter surrender, and death to self. Second, the kingdom of heaven, which is to be inherited by those who are “down in the dumps” (so to speak) about their sinful condition, is not just a physical address. The kingdom of Heaven is really about ruler-ship. In the kingdom of heaven, the ruler-ship, is God, and God alone. And those who live in God’s kingdom do the will of their Ruler.
The message of Jesus in Matthew 5:3 is consistent with what Jesus says in Matthew 6:10: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” This is talking about God being #1, not only in heaven and on earth, but also in our lives. The Ruler of our lives is to be the same Ruler Who is in Heaven.
So when The Message version of Matthew 5:3 reads “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule,” it is pretty spot on.
Are you at the end of your rope when it comes to living with the truth about your sinful, selfish self? Are you ready to make God the Ruler of your life? If you are, then Matthew 5:3 is written just for you.
Add your name in the blank, and read it out loud: “____________ , wealthy is the one who is empty of self and who has been humbled by seeing the truth about sin. ______________, if you are “end of your rope” with yourself and with your problems, remember, with less of you, there is room for God. God’s ruler-ship will not only lead your way, it will make your day.”
So today, do something rogue against the status quo in this world.
Live poor in spirit, and experience the richness and blessings of receiving the inheritance of Heaven!