“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
For the next several weeks this space will take a closer look at The Beatitudes. Jesus starts this series of statements with some incredibly good news. Happy are the people who don’t fit into the religious establishment. The kingdom of God is now available to them. In Jesus’ day the people who were considered spiritual were folks like the Pharisees. They could pray beautiful prayers (and often did in very public ways). They kept all the rules. They were insiders. Most people had an inferiority complex compared to these people – the rich in spirit. So when Jesus tells the crowd that the kingdom of God belongs also to the poor in spirit, it was very good news.
Have you ever felt like an outsider? Have you ever felt inferior or unspiritual compared to others? Have you ever believed that your sin disqualified you? Then this beatitude is good news for you too. Jesus has made the kingdom of God available to you. Because of Jesus, it’s a kingdom for people who don’t pray that well or have deep spiritual insights. It’s a kingdom for people who have messed up big time. It’s a kingdom for the poor in spirit. By the way, it’s also a kingdom for insiders and great pray-ers and deep spiritual thinkers. But we all enter that kingdom the same way – through Jesus.