Matthew 5:3 (NKJV) 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven..
Please join me in an in-depth look of the beatitudes. First, the word beatitude comes from the Latin noun beātitūdō that means happiness. Starting with that word and definition we can see that the beatitudes are directions for us to be happy. It seems that too often we think that these verses are a state of being; I would suggest that they are action verses. With that as our base, let’s look at the actions of Matt 5:3.
Let’s look closely at the “poor in spirit”. The word “poor” is the Greek word ptōchos which literally means a beggar. In other words, someone that is spiritually bankrupt, without a way out on their own. It makes me think of calving time when you are doing everything in your power to care for the newborns. Sometimes you lose a calf, for various reasons, and you may rack your brain wondering what you could do differently but usually you realize that it is out of your control, and it’s disheartening.
Have you ever been in a place like that where you felt like you just can’t do things right? Almost to a point of giving up? That has been when God shows just how powerful He is in my life, when I come to that place of total surrender, realizing that I can’t do it. See, God has done all of it for us. We cannot add to or take away from what He has already accomplished. As humans we are, whether we want to admit it or not, spiritually bankrupt. I have nothing in myself to offer to God. As A.W. Pink wrote ” God is fully capable of being God without me”.
The good news is, He already knew that. In this verse Jesus tells us that when we recognize this, we are blessed. Another word in the Greek language that is synonymous to blessed is happy. There is a certain peace or happiness that comes with knowing that I can’t and don’t have to do the exact right things to earn Gods favor. Basically, this is a form of humility. I have heard people talk about how ‘spiritual’ someone is. Jesus is saying that if we think we are all that spiritual then, we are missing it
Spiritual humility is the first step in this particular list towards happiness in our walk with Christ.
~ Chaplain Buddy Strachan