The Sermon On the Mount was given on a hillside near Capernaum. It challenged the proud and legalistic teachings of the religious leaders of that day and directed the listeners back to sincere and deep-heart obedience to God and not rituals and rules of men. It set forth a blueprint for disciples and believers of Jesus in the way we are supposed to behave. It is a list of attributes that if followed, will lead to being blessed and favored of God. It isn’t superficial, but it resonates through every fiber of one who sincerely believes and want to please the Lord. And last, it is a contrast and contradiction of worldly values that Jesus doesn’t want us tangled and bound in.
The Beattiudes end with a message that let us know that following Jesus won’t always be easy and rewards that are promised in heaven. Jesus wants us to know that all the earthly material things we can obtain through our own efforts are nothing compared to the heavenly things that await us if we endure.
Matthew 5:3 (NIV) – Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
I remember when I taught the Beattitudes to a youth group at my church. The reaction I got was sort of humorous because the teenagers were like; “Why we gotta be poor.” And that was a good place to stop for clarification. God’s ways are not our ways and they are the complete opposite of the world’s values. So I had to quickly tell them that it didn’t have anything to do with money, cars and houses. It had to do with the spirit and how badly we should realize we need Him.
Being poor in spirit means we recognize that we need Jesus and His kingdom. Its when we realize our need for Him, that no one can ever be enough for us but Him, is when we are truly blessed and favored. Only those who depend on God will be admitted into the Kingdom of Heaven. God delights in blessing His people. He frowns on those who feel they don’t need them because of their temporary surroundings.
Luke 6:20; Psalm 51:17; Proverbs 16:19, 29:23; Isaiah 57:15, 66:2