“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
The sermon on the Mount describes what human life and human community
looks like when they come under the gracious rule of King Jesus… Still today
the indispensable condition of receiving the kingdom of God is to
acknowledge our spiritual poverty… Thus, to be ‘poor in spirit’ is to
acknowledge our spiritual poverty, indeed our spiritual bankruptcy, before
God… Right at the beginning of his sermon, Jesus contradicts all human
judgments and all nationalistic expectations of the kingdom of God. The
kingdom is given to the poor, not the rich; the feeble, not the mighty; to little
children humble enough to accept it, not to soldiers who boast that they can
obtain it by their own prowess.
– John Stott
We are beggars. This is true! – Martin Luther
The kingdom of God can only be received by empty hands. Jesus warns
against two things: Worldly self-sufficiency which leads you to trust yourself
and your own resources so that you don’t need God; and religious self-sufficiency
where you trust your religious attitude and moral life and don’t need Jesus.
– Michael Crosby
He only who is reduced to nothing in himself, and relies on the mercy of God,
is poor in spirit.
– John Calvin
Blessed are the spiritual zeros – the spiritually bankrupt, deprived and
deficient, the spiritual beggars, those without a wisp of religion – when the
kingdom of heaven comes upon them.
– Dallas Willard