The Beatitudes Lesson 01: Blessed Are The Poor In the Spirit

The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7) is widely regarded by Christians as the greatest sermon ever given.   Jesus spoke of eight beatitudes – great blessings – during this sermon.  While you may be familiar with these beatitudes, have you ever studied them in depth?

Let’s read together Matthew 5:3.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

A colporteur was selling religious literature in a wealthy area.  A well dressed older man wearing an expensive cashmere jacket opened the door. As the colporteur introduced himself, the man interrupted him and said, “Thank you, but I am set.”  The door closed on the colporteur..

What does it mean to be poor in spirit?

Let’s read together Isaiah 6:1-5 and Luke 18:9-14.

While material wealth can blind people to their spiritual needs (Proverbs 30:8-9), being poor in spirit has nothing to do with economics.  This beatitude is not saying to take a vow of poverty now in order to obtain heavenly riches later.  Being poor in spirit is the realization of your spiritual wretchedness.

Let’s read together Isaiah 6:5-7 and Revelation 3:14-22.

We must be aware of our spiritual condition and our need of Jesus before we can receive grace.  Our own self-deception is a coping mechanism because we cannot handle seeing our own depravity.  We can afford to have a real assessment of our moral state at the cross, because it is safe there.  God will never shame you or reject you.  

So how do we develop this attitude of being poor in spirit?

Let’s read together John 3:30.

We should spend time every day to meditate on the life of Christ.  When we understand the life of Christ, we can better reflect His love and selflessness.

Let’s read together Number 21:4-9 and Isaiah 6:5-8.

“Look and live.”  The Gospel is encapsulated in these two passages. When we realize our wretched and sinful condition, we come to Jesus for salvation.  As we are made clean, we feel moved to tell others about Jesus.  We want people to know what Jesus did for us and what He can do for them.

Friend, are you willing to be poor in spirit?


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