“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 5:3 (KJV)
How are you? I enjoy reading the Beatitudes, which was part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. (You can read more about the definition of Beatitudes on Wikipedia here.) They are encouraging and inspirational words that gives us the map to true happiness. So, I thought that I would do a series on the Beatitudes. I pray you are blessed by it.
Speaking of blessed, what does it mean to be blessed? Some people use it every day, but do we really know what it means? I have heard the word blessed be defined as another name for happy. I have read somewhere else, that it is more than happy. I guess, I think of it as being more than happy, more like a spiritual happiness instead of a mere emotional happiness.
The first beatitude is found in Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” So, what does that mean? What does poor in spirit mean? I have researched it, thought about it, and prayed about it. I am still not sure if I know what it means for sure. What makes the most sense to me is that people who put believe that without God, they would be nothing. In other words, people who are poor in spirit don’t put their trust and belief in themselves, but in God alone.
Recently, I wrote a post about being self-made or God-made, which also reminds me of this concept. Many people like to say that they are self-made, that they learned things and did things because of their hard work and determination. Worldly people in society believe this is a good thing. Yet, it is when we know that we are reliant on God and can’t do or be without Him, that we gain more than we know.
Many of us have heard the saying, “you are full of yourself.” Again, that would be like the self-made person. That person thinks he or she is great and can do this or that so wonderfully, etc. To me, the poor in spirit would be just the opposite. The poor in spirit would be more like an infant crying for a parent’s help or a child asking questions and asking for help. However, instead of asking each other for help, we rely on God to give us all that we need.
To me, the second half of this statement is a bit more difficult to understand, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” I have read where that could mean God’s kingdom on earth. The words “theirs is” get me the most though. That usually means it belongs to you, as in ownership. Yet, it is easier to understand if it is that you are a part of it, not owner of it.
I think we all have our own thoughts and ideas on the kingdom of God. We take what we read and come to our own conclusions.
I guess for me, I can understand Matthew 5:3 if I look at it like, if people think they rely on themselves, they won’t get closer to God. They will rely only on themselves and won’t get closer to God or His kingdom. Yet, if people know they are nothing with out God and reach out to God, trust Him to be their provider and Father, know that He is their creator, then people will be closer and among those in the kingdom of God. Then, if we think about being part of the kingdom of God, we will be blessed beyond measure. We will feel and be happier than we can even imagine. We will enjoy the peace Jesus can give us, the joy of being with our Heavenly Father, and so much more.
Thank you for sending Jesus to us to give us the message of the Beatitudes. You are so loving and merciful; that you want to give us every chance and guidance you can to show us the path to you. I thank you and praise you for that. Help us to be poor in spirit, so that we may gain your kingdom. I ask you that through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective Questions for Matthew 5:3 (KJV):
*What does Matthew 5:3 mean to me?
*What is my definition of blessed?
*What do I think “poor of spirit” means?
*Am I poor of spirit?
*What do I think “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” means?
*What can I do to better live according to the words in Matthew 5:3?
Now, it is your turn.
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This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.