Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit


“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)

“For this is what the high and exalted One says — he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.’” (Isaiah 57:15)

Jesus pronounces blessings that no earthly king would consider. He offers mortal man eternal rights. He takes the last and makes them first. His blessings are an inheritance given to the children of God.

Who among us has not been brought low by the circumstances of life? How is it a blessing to find ourselves humbled before others? How is it a blessing when the things we hold dear are stripped away? How can we be called blessed when we count ourselves the least among others?

Matthew Henry suggests, “This poverty of spirit is a gracious disposition of soul, by which we are emptied of self, in order to be filled with Jesus Christ.”

Paul was poor in spirit, the least among the apostles — nothing in his own account — and yet rich in the gifts and graces of the Spirit.

To be poor in spirit is to be contentedly poor, willing to be emptied of worldly wealth and esteem, and acknowledge the wisdom of God in all things. To be poor in spirit is to be usefully rich. If rich by worldly standards (which most of us in America are), we must be poor in spirit by sympathizing with and esteeming the poor, the weak and the insignificant among us, and feeling their infirmities. 

Are you poor in Spirit? Yours is the Kingdom of God. For as you have humbled yourself, God has esteemed you in Heaven. As you have considered yourself least among men, God has prepared a favored place for you. As you have had mercy on the least significant in society, God has poured out his riches on you.

May you walk in the light of your inheritance today! 

Our God hears,
Mark Petersen