One of our youth leaders, Ryan, taught a lesson on the first beatitude. He did a great job and really made me think. I have hearts various ideas concerning this passage, but to date I really like what Ryan said.
What does it mean to be poor in spirit? It means to know that there is nothing a person can do to escape God's righteous judgment. Unlike the Jewish leaders of Jesus's time, a person has to understand that there is nothing they can do to be saved.
Jesus's message when he was upon this earth was "the Kingdom of heaven is near." The promise to those who are "poor in spirit"is that they will receive the kingdom of heaven. The response to his message was "repent." So what does it mean to be poor in spirit? It means one must change their mind about who really sits on the throne of their life. To recognize God as the true ruler/ master is to become a citizen of his kingdom.
What would happen if this truly filled or understanding? How would this affect the way we live our lives? Is it no wonder we are likens to sojourners, pilgrims and ambassadors?
What a wonderful word for Jesus to begin his ministry and this sermon on the mount. The only way to develop the characteristics and attitudes of a citizen of the kingdom of heaven is to recognize and congress or own poverty.