The Poor

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven Matthew 5:3-4

I love how Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, shocked people with his opening statement. He hit them with the paradoxical statement that the poor will inherit the kingdom of heaven. He knew how to get the crowd’s attention, I think.

Depending on which translation you use, you will find something over 200 times that the Bible mentions the word “poor”. Clearly, dealing properly with poor people is a major theme and concern of the writers. People can argue, who are “the poor”, and it would be a good discussion.

There are many types of poverty. There is financial poverty, with which we are most acquainted. It is somewhat easy to quantify. Indeed, governments have poverty indices which measure degrees of wealth or lack of it.

There is also spiritual poverty, which is much more difficult to define. This is a highly subjective measure. It is also hard to measure because some people are not even aware that they are spiritually poor. Those are the folks with a real problem. If we think we have things figured out, and that we do not need God in our life, such ones are the poorest of people.

Jesus said “Blessed are the poor in spirit,  for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. He meant that people who recognize their spiritual poverty recognize their need for a savior- that know they cannot save themselves. They are in a position to access the riches of God through their search for God’s grace.

In the next few blogs, I am going to discuss what “poor” is and what I think proper responses are. Clearly, in the case of spiritual poverty, acceptance of one’s state is critical. What about physical/financial poverty?

I’ll talk about that tomorrow…

Prayer: Lord, give us wisdom as to how to look at poverty, Amen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s