“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
“Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Blessed (happy; well spoken of) are people who realize they’re not much good; they don’t amount to much; they don’t perform very well. Theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Did you hear that? They have heaven. Not later. Now.
Makes me think of another passage, one in 1 Corinthians 1: 26: “For you see from your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.” The point is that if you realize you’re not very wise, not very mighty, not very noble (of high birth), then you are already a lot closer to God and to the attitude He wants us to have.
Oh, and what about Matthew 11:25-26, where Jesus said in a prayer, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. 26 Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. . .” He has hidden things from the ‘wise and prudent’: the well-educated and disciplined, the intelligent and self-controlled, the properly trained, socially acceptable, law-abiding. Just the kind of people the world wants to know. Jesus says, “Thank you Father, that You wanted to hide the truth about You from those people. I’m glad; I agree with you!” I suppose some might disagree, but to me that is exactly what He’s saying.
And that’s just the beginning. Not only ‘hidden’ from the ‘wise and prudent’, but ‘revealed them to babes.’ Just the absolute opposite. ‘Babes’ yet. How unwise and un-prudent can you get? Babes not only haven’t learned. They’re totally untrained, totally helpless, totally undisciplined, totally uncontrolled, totally undeserving, totally unable to figure out what’s going on. And God, the Father, with Jesus, the Son applauding, revealed these things to people who don’t know how to row; they can’t even find the boat. ‘Babes’. (and babes may be the same people who Jesus referred to as “poor in spirit” and/or that Paul referred to as not wise, not mighty, not noble)
And to me the best part is ‘revealed’. God didn’t make ’em go to college; He didn’t make them take a pilgrimage, or fast or pray, or beg for mercy. He just revealed it to them. He picked the ones who couldn’t possibly do anything to pay Him back, and shined His Light into their hearts. Because He wanted to. Because He knew they’d be genuinely glad to receive the truth and the light and the miracles of Jesus. Because He knew they would respond by trusting Him to take care of them. Because He knew they were the ‘fertile ground’ that was waiting to receive the seed of His truth. Hallelu Jah!
Finally, in Luke 18:17, it says “whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” Wait! What did it say back up there in Matthew 5:3? “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” I think the ‘kingdom of God’ and the ‘kingdom of heaven’ is the same place. So the ‘poor in spirit’ may be the same people as the ‘little children’, and from these passages we can draw the same conclusion: that God wants to reveal His truth, and His gifts of the Spirit, and HIS LIFE, to those of us who are poor in spirit enough to humble ourselves and come as little children, trusting that He is going to take care of us, like He says He will.