A -BEATITUDES 1
Crowds had been following Jesus so He went up higher to teach those who wanted to learn of Him or His disciples who are “learners”.
All of the beatitudes begin with “blessed”. In Greek this means fortunate, happy, supremely blessed, well-off. Spiritual well-being and deep joy of the soul brings about a deeper spiritual meaning. Jesus would not use this term with just a frivolous saying. This is deep and with each of these beatitudes we want to think of the heart-felt meaning that Jesus puts into these. The O.T. also uses this word. Ps.1:1; Ps.84:12; Prov.8:32
The “poor in spirit” is the subject of the first blessedness. Matt.5:3 We sometimes begin to think we are rich in our spirituality. Perhaps we are comparing ourselves to those of the world. God had some lessons to teach the Israelites about humility which is being poor in spirit. Deut.8:2 Self-sufficiency keeps us from feeling our poorness in spirit. This is pictured in the case of Manasseh. 2 Chron.33:11,12 We experience distress and can do nothing to help ourselves. Then we call upon the Lord.
A great humility of spirit is shown in Job after God has summarized His mighty power. Job is humbled to dust and ashes in Job 42:6. Job cries out to God as he realizes he is nothing. When we realize we are nothing, then we can begin to humble ourselves by being truly very poor in spirit. You are God and I am not. Prov.29:23
Being poor in spirit is so important to God. Isa.66:2 He made it all and to fully recognize that fact will cause us to be contrite or repentant and therefore humble before Him in worship, thankfulness, and love. Micah 6:8
Many times during Jesus’ ministry He reprimands the Pharisees for their lack of humility. Matt.23:5-7 They were more interested in their appearance before men than before God. Lk.16:14,15 If we are following God, He wants to lift us up, but He can only do that if we are humble. We are not to lift ourselves up but let God do it for us. Jam.4:10 Peter says about the same thing in 1 Pet.5:6 Jesus leads us. He is our example and He was humble. Matt.11:29
Would you rather be put down or built up? An example is the parable at the banqueting table. Lk.14:8-10 We have no right to build ourselves up; however, the tendency is present. Phil.2:3; Col.3:12
Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. This is a reward of blessedness for the poor in spirit. It has been said that the kingdom is summed up as “already, not yet.” In other words, The kingdom came in the form of Jesus. However, it awaits fulfillment at the end of the age.
As John the Baptist was announcing the coming of the Messiah, he stated that the kingdom was near. Matt.3:2 Jesus also stated this. Matt.4:17 Jesus was near and so was His church in the not so far future. Matt.16:18,19 Keys allow entrance. Peter preached the first gospel sermon as the
was established on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit gave Peter the way to enter into Christ’s church. These were the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Acts 2:38 The Lord added those that were being saved to the kingdom. Acts 2:47. church of Jesus Christ
Jesus told His disciples that some of them would be alive when the kingdom came. Matt.16:28 This was speaking of His church for the disciples were alive on Pentecost.
The kingdom means Christ’s reign. Christ reigns in His church as the head and chief cornerstone. Eph.1:22; Eph.2:20 As Jesus was teaching them to pray in Matt.6:10, the beginning of His church was near.
Dan.2:44 prophesize the church or kingdom that will not end. Not only is the kingdom known as the church which the gates of hell cannot destroy but it is an everlasting kingdom. Dan.7:27; Rev.11:15 The kingdom began with Jesus and His church and continues until eternity and throughout without end.
Our spiritual well-being and joy of the soul causes us to think and pray earnestly that we be poor in spirit—to recognize our worthlessness except through Jesus Christ—and to humbly follow Him into His kingdom of righteousness with a repentant heart. Jam.2:5; Lk.18:14