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Welcome to week two of my New Series on the Beatitudes.

The Sermon on the Mount teachings are a demonstration of what we should be living as Christ followers.   Jesus set the tone early on in His ministry regarding what He was about and what it meant to be His disciple and have a Kingdom mindset. These teachings are the foundation for what Jesus modeled and would be doing for the next three years of His earthly ministry, and what He longs for us His followers to do as well.

The Beatitudes are the good news of the Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus preached for the here and now and also for the Kingdom to come.   I look forward to diving in deeper to each one of the 8 Beatitudes in the weeks to come.



“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

(Matthew 5:3 NIV)


Whenever I read The Beatitudes, there are some I understand on surface level, but others, I am left asking …. What?


Truthfully, it is like that with other Scripture as well.  Sometimes I have an understanding right away and then other times, I feel like the disciples when they continually asked Jesus to explain what He was saying.  Such is the case with this first Beatitude, I find myself asking, “exactly what is Jesus talking about when He says, “poor in spirit”?


A researching I go….


Jesus had a way of rocking not just the religious boat, but what He taught and what He stood for was often counter cultural.

Our culture and theirs said: Blessed are the wealthy and famous

Jesus said: Blessed are the poor

If we look to the Old Testament, we can see the backdrop for Jesus’ use of the word “poor.”

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (Isaiah 61:1)

Jesus is not speaking of the economically poor but those who are in spiritual poverty.  They may have no relationship, or a poor relationship with Him, or are lacking spiritual character.

The word “poor” has a wide variety of meanings and applications in both The Old and New testaments.

The Old Testament uses five different words from the Hebrew language, while the New Testament uses two from Greek. However, these seven are translated into a large number of English words. Besides describing destitution, they appear in contexts indicating oppression, humility, being defenseless, afflicted, in want, needy, weak, thin, low, dependent and socially inferior.

Of the two Greek words translated “poor” in the New Testament, penes designates the working poor who own little or no property. People in this state possess little in the way of material goods, they earn what they have through their daily labor. A form of this word, penechros, describes the poor widow of Luke 21:2. Penes is used only once in the entire New Testament (II Corinthians 9:9).

However, this is not the word used in the beatitude in Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Here, “poor” is translated from ptochos, which literally means “to crouch or cower as one helpless.” It signifies the beggar, the pauper, one in abject poverty, totally dependent on others for help and destitute of even the necessities of life. In Galatians 4:9, it is translated “beggarly.” (KJV)[1]


The word “poor” in this first beatitude relates then to people understanding their helplessness and weakness.  There was nothing within their power they could do to fix this for themselves.  In order for them to rise above this helpless and destitute situation, they would need the help of someone else, just like a beggar would.  That someone would be Jesus.


“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. (Matthew 5:3 MSG)


What wealth is offered to you when you feel your spiritual poverty! For there is no charge to enter the realm of heaven’s kingdom. (Matthew 5:3 The Passion)


“Poor in spirit” doesn’t have anything to do with our natural bank account and finances, and everything to do with our spiritual bank accounts.  Being poor in spirit is about understanding our need for a Savior.  Being poor in spirit is about being humble, accepting and even asking Jesus for help, because we don’t have all the answers. It is a mindset where we understand are nothing without God.  Apart from Him, we are in spiritual poverty, but In Christ is where we truly live and find the abundance riches of the Kingdom.  Again, Jesus was not talking about monetary things, but rather things of a spiritual nature.



Being poor in spirit is recognizing and acknowledging that we are sinners.  It’s where we set aside our pride and self-righteous attitudes and empty ourselves before a Holy and just God.  It’s where we call out to a God full of mercy and grace.

We empty ourselves; our heart and our mind of all the world values or tells us is valuable and we look to God to find our value and worth in Him and with Him. Being poor in spirit is about recognizing and placing value on God and His Kingdom and not on earthly possessions.



No matter what condition or place we find ourselves in, we can be content because we have the knowledge that Christ is with us and for us.  It is when we are with Him that we can be blessed whether we are rich or poor, loved or hated, joy filled or sorrowful, etc….

This is indeed the Good News of the Gospel!  We must each recognize our need for Jesus because it is only through confession and belief in Him that we will enter the Kingdom of heaven.

And what is God’s “living message”? It is the revelation of faith for salvation, which is the message that we preach. For if you publicly declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will experience salvation. 10 The heart that believes in him receives the gift of the righteousness of God—and then the mouth gives thanks to salvation. 11 For the Scriptures encourage us with these words:

“Everyone who believes in him will never be disappointed.”

12 So then faith eliminates the distinction between Jew and non-Jew, for he is the same Lord Jehovah for all people. And he has enough treasures to lavish generously upon all who call on him. 13 And it’s true:

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Yahweh
    will be rescued and experience new life. (Romans 10:9-13 The Passion Translation)



[1] https://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/blessed-are-the-poor-in-spirit-for-theirs-is-the-kingdom-of-heaven-claude-alexander-sermon-on-broken-209879?page=3


This week I would like to Highlight Lisa from Lisa Notes!   Over at her place you can join her and sign up for a Scripture memorizing challenge which includes The Beatitude verses.  How awesome is this, and what perfect timing as well.  I just love the way God orchestrates all these little details.   I hope you will hop on over and sign up with Lisa and join in with memorizing these verses.   Blessings


Top Clicked Post:

Congratulations to Rachel Lee for having the most people click over to view your post. Comparison is obviously something many of us struggle with and your post touched on something for many people who clicked over.

If you didn’t see get a chance to read her post, click on the picture below.  It is a good one. Plus she has 20 affirmations that will help you win the comparison game.

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