Listen to what Jesus says in Matthew 5:3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
To understand what he’s talking about, we first need to ask what it means to be “blessed.” A lot of people say they feel “blessed” or use #blessed as a hashtag when something is going well in their lives. But what does it actually mean?
My Gingrich New Testament dictionary tells me that someone who is “blessed” is the “privileged recipient of divine favor.” In other words, blessed people have been shown generosity (or favour) from God.
With that in mind, why are the “poor in spirit” blessed?
To be poor in spirit is to feel deflated. Instead of feeling like a champion at the top of their game, they’re at the end of their rope.
But listen to what Jesus says next: “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
When you feel deflated and at the end of your rope, any illusion you had of your own superiority or self-sufficiency lies shattered on the floor. That allows God and his kingdom to come more powerfully to the centre of your soul. Since your own ego has been forced out of the way, you’re more likely to let God get into the driver’s seat.
Are you feeling deflated? God isn’t.
Blessed are the deflated, for they are the ones who’ve asked God to take the wheel.
By Matthew Ruttan
–Today’s “Up!” is connected to my most recent sermon: “Be the [counter-cultural] change.” You can watch it on YouTube here.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.