Blessed are the Poor in Spirit
The Lord Jesus went up to the mountain, and when
He had sat down, His disciples came to Him. Then He began to teach them,
saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
One who is poor in spirit is
humble in his speech and actions. There was a Pharisee who prayed to God
saying, “God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners,
unjust, adulterous ... I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get” (Lk 18:9-12). In contrast, Paul, who was eloquent, a student
of Gamaliel, educated according to the strict manner
of the law of the Pharisees and a zealous servant of God, was extremely humble.
He wrote, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I
press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brethren,
I do not consider that I have made it my own; but one thing I do, forgetting
what lies behind and I straining it forward to what lies ahead” (Php 3:12-13).
And one who is humble will always
accept the criticisms of others. Job was blameless and upright, one who feared
God and turned away from evil but at the same time he was self-righteous. So
God reproached Job out of the whirlwinds, “Shall a fault-finder contend with
the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it” (Job 40:1-2). Job
finally confessed, “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer thee?”
and “therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:1-6).
Before this the spirit of Job was full but after this his spirit was empty. It
was well that Job confessed before God of his self-righteousness. One who is
humble is like a servant before his master, always lowly and helpless. He will
not boast of his achievements but is ready to accept criticisms.
The kingdom of heaven belongs to
those who are poor in spirit. The Ethiopian eunuch was a minister of Candace,
queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her treasures. Though he was rich and in
a high position, he was poor in spirit. He traveled across the wilderness to Jerusalem to worship God.
On his way back he was reading the Book of Isaiah but he could not understand
it. Philip, the evangelist, went up to him and asked, “Do you understand what
you are reading?” The eunuch replied humbly, “How can I,
unless someone guides me?” He then invited Philip to go up his chariot. Philip
preached the gospel to him. He was humble enough to receive the truth. On the
same day both Philip and the eunuch went into the water and Philip baptized the
eunuch. After his baptism, the eunuch continued on his homeward journey
joyfully. The eunuch was rejoicing because he was confident that he could go to
heaven for his sins were forgiven. This eunuch was poor in spirit and was
willing to accept the teachings of God. So his sins were forgiven (Ac 8:25-40).
there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Italian Cohort, a devout
man who feared God with all his household, gave alms
liberally to the people and prayed constantly to God. Despite his high position
and charitable deeds he was poor in spirit. When an angel of the Lord
instructed him to invite Peter to his house, he quickly called two of his
servants and a devout soldier to send for him, while he and his kinsmen and
close friends waited. When Peter finally came, Cornelius met him and fell down
at his feet and worshipped him. Because he was so humble that God blessed him
and all those who heard the word with the Holy Spirit.
In order to enter the kingdom of God we must be humble because “God
opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Pet 5:5). The kingdom of
heaven is yours if you are humble. So, let us all be humble.