And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Although Jesus saw the multitudes, He opened His mouth and taught His disciples. The good news is that He is still teaching us today through the Spirit of truth — However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. [John 16:13-14]. We are still learning the way in which we inherit the kingdom of heaven, as the Spirit of God declares unto us.
Jesus teaches us that we are blessed when we are poor in spirit, because our inheritance is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew the writer of this gospel is an example of what it means to be poor in spirit. Because he was a publican before he decided to follow Jesus; Matthew never scribed the name of God. Because he felt so unworthy, that he referred to the kingdom of heaven but never the Kingdom of God in the gospel that he wrote. To be poor in spirit is to have the humility to maintain a posture of bowing before the King, in reverence to the One who is high and lifted up. Holy is the LORD GOD who reigns over all the earth and even the heavens declare His glory.
Self righteousness cannot survive in the heart of those who are poor in spirit. Jesus teaches us a valuable lesson in Luke 19:9-14; where he compares a religious sect to a publican who bore the shame of his professional identity much like Matthew — Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
In the presence of God, we do well to be poor in spirit, so that the LORD can exalt us and give us the grace to escape being humbled by Him. Who are we, to look down on anyone? We are saved by grace, and not of works, it is the gift of God. It’s not about do’s and don’ts, it is about the recognition that we are all undone in His presence, and so we bow down before Him. He alone is worthy, and by His grace we are accepted in the Beloved — to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. [Ephesians 1:6]
We have a God who has thought of everything concerning our completeness — and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power [Colossians 2:9]. — He made us accepted in the Beloved. David put it this way in Psalm 100:3-5; Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting And His truth endures to all generations. The LORD is good, and you are blessed if you are poor in spirit, because yours is the kingdom of heaven, so be thankful unto Him and bless His name today.
Follow Rev. Bob Oliver on Facebook at fb.com/reach1more or on Instagram @reach1more.