Dear Church Family,
Summer is finally here. It is my favorite time of year. Shorts, swimming, bbq, and fresh fruit are best in summer. When I read Jesus’ sermon on the mount, I imagine that it was a nice summer day when the crowds gathered around for his all-day sermon. The multitudes sat down on the green grass eager to listen to their Great Shepherd teach them about God’s Kingdom.
Today I want you to imagine sitting there on that mountainside with Jesus. Consider the first beatitude or blessing which he gave to his followers that day:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3 ESV)
We all want to be part of the Kingdom of Heaven. Which of us does not want to go to heaven when we die? Which of us does not want Jesus to be our King? What king loves us more than King Jesus? But most onus do not want to be poor in spirit. Yet here Jesus blesses the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Let’s consider for a moment what Jesus meant when he blessed the poor in spirit. Who are the poor in spirit?
Other translations call them the spiritually poor, or those who know their need for God. Simply put, the poor in spirit are those who know that they can’t get to heaven on their own. They understand that they are morally bankrupt, that they have fallen short of the requirements of God. And these are the only ones who are blessed, for they are the only ones who place their faith in Jesus. Others look at Jesus as a moral teacher, an example to follow, but not their only hope for salvation. But the poor in spirit come to God with nothing to offer but their need for Jesus. Today let us aspire to be the poor in spirit, for then we will inherit the kingdom of heaven!