This is the first part of a two part article. Stay tuned for next week’s installment!
This article is not for the ‘all-together’. If you’re strong, happy all the time, forceful, full, or unhurt this article is not for you. If you have no idea what it means to be slapped by the world, you’ve come to the wrong passage. If you can’t imagine getting the short end of the stick, this isn’t for you. Get my drift? What we are talking about here is for the poor mourner, the hungry meek, and the merciful hurt. This IS an article for the sinner. It’s for the bruised who are afraid of being broken. Get it? Anyone reading this like that today? I thought so.
The people Jesus is talking to here are those who just can’t get it together no matter what. But they want to follow Jesus. In fact, in the case of the disciples, they’ve given up everything to follow Him. They’ve put their whole life on the line. They’re strugglers. And Jesus is blessing them.
Let’s define that word, blessing, before we go any further. “Blessing” here literally means happy. Jesus is saying “I will turn your empty situation into a full life. It is against all logic and nature, but I can make the poor in spirit, rich in spirit. I can satisfy those who are perpetually hungry for something more. I can give the mourner some real, un-medicated comfort. I can take the ones who seem to constantly put themselves out there only to be hurt, mercy…real, died in the wool mercy. I will give the sincere an opportunity to see God. And those who long for peace, well, I call them my kids.” “Blessing” can refer to the present and also certainly refers to the future. Blessing is here and in Heaven also! You may not be happy right now, but happiness is certainly coming your way! Blessing can only come from God. I can’t give it to you. You can’t earn it. But He freely gives it to those who wait for Him. Wait on the Lord and hear His voice. Blessing is most certainly in store for those who wait on Him.
Who is Jesus talking about when He says “Blessed are the poor in spirit?” He isn’t talking about the financially poor, but how many of us haven’t been both spiritually and financially bankrupt at one time or another? Jesus is talking about the broken; the less desired; the humbled (those forced into humility) and the humble. This won’t be anyone’s favorite verse, unless you’ve just recently realized your broken state. I can see this being a champion verse for an addiction clinic or restoration house. Literally, these are the people who know they have no ability or resource to aid them before God. They are poor. They have very little. Their spirit is running on empty. Can you identify? Hear the tender voice of Jesus lifting your spirit: “Yours will be the kingdom of Heaven.” You will not struggle forever.
The story of the Prodigal Son demonstrates this through and through. While he was poor, his poverty was self-inflicted. But the Bible says he came to himself. This son got to the place where he mourned his sin. He was hungry for the presence and peace his father offered. He did everything it took to make peace between them. He was persecuted for his poverty and bad decisions, but his reward was great when he chose to humble himself before his dad.
Know that God loves broken things, not because He breaks them, but because He loves to restore them. See you next week!