“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
What is good about poverty? At an everyday level, nothing! Poverty very often leads to deprivation, disadvantage and all kinds of social problems. So what is Jesus talking about? Biblically it is the rich who tend to oppose the cause of God, the rich and their love of wealth who become spiritually blind, the rich who are filled with pride and self sufficiency whereas the poor have nowhere to go but to God for mercy and justice. The clue is in the phrase “poor in spirit”. Jesus is not saying that poverty is a good thing but that those who are spiritually poor recognise in faith that he is their only hope and help.
Years ago after an evening service I received a call to hospital to see a member of the congregation was dying. At the end of the visit I came back to the car park only to discover that I had no money to pay the ticket. I’m like a member of the royal family I don’t carry cash, at least on a Sunday. What was left but to go to the attendant tell him the circumstances and confess my inability to pay. Humble pie! To my surprise this man who I never at any point saw, just heard, slipped me a ticket to exit. No money was asked for, no demands made. Grace of a form.
Those who recognise their spiritual bankruptcy have no-one else to go but to Jesus to confess their poverty and look for mercy. Romans 10:12 “the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,”
Lord I confess that I am poor in spirit, that I can offer nothing to you no gifts, no powers, no wisdom; be merciful to me, a sinner, for Jesus sake. AMEN