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Saturday/Sunday: May 6, 2019

Blessed are the Poor

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)

Picture this for a minute, you’re being followed by hundreds of people. Many are rushing you, hoping that you can bring a solution to their need. This is where Jesus found himself in Matthew 5, just before his disciples came to him.

Now when they came to him, Jesus, the Almighty servant, to no surprise did not stop serving. He lays out a “banquet” that is famously called “The Sermon on the Mount.” Even those who openly speak against Christianity are familiar with these chapters in the book of Matthew.

Why is this sermon so famous? Why is it so powerful? Why do folk marvel at Jesus’ words, while rejecting him all at once? “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The Kingdom of Heaven (just imagine what that might be), belongs not to the proud, not to the self-sufficient, nor to those who think they can make it on their own. This, my friends, is in sharp contrast to the thoughts and beliefs of most people in our day. The Kingdom of Darkness, which we are very much surrounded by, travels in a completely different direction.

Why are the poor in spirit blessed? This simply means that those qualified to enter and to belong to God’s Kingdom are not the proud and self-righteous, but rather those who recognize their state before God, having nothing good in and of themselves, and that without Christ’s forgiveness and redemption they stand condemned to eternal death.

Please remember, poverty of spirit does not mean we need to sell all our possessions as some sort of spiritual exchange for our salvation (some will teach this!). Also, it doesn’t mean that you walk around with a frown on your face all the time. Poverty of spirit means that you recognize that without Christ, you’re spiritually bankrupt. And that with Christ, you have salvation from eternal death, and life everlasting. Now that is good news!

Question: Is there some kind of merit (moral, material, etc.) which you think can make you right with God?

Challenge: Just think about it in light of what you’ve read.

Prayer: Creator of heaven and earth, please reveal any pride that is in my heart. Help me to see that without Christ, I have nothing.

Jonathan Agudelo, Chapel Leader -- Toronto Blue Jays


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