You who are poor, mourning, meek, hungry and thirsty, merciful, pure, making peace, persecuted, and reviled, if you are these things it is because God in Christ, and by his Spirit at work within you, has made you so. By God’s abundant grace, and according to the counsel of his perfect will, he has called you a son or a daughter. You come empty-handed, but confidently, to the throne of grace and our Father picks up the train of his robe, smothers you with kisses, clothes you in Christ’s righteousness, places his signet ring on your finger, and throws the marriage supper of the lamb in celebration. “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found” (Luke 15:24).
This is the famous introduction to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount recorded in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5-7. In these 10 verses Jesus quickly flips everything that we think to be correct on its head, and beautifully offends and astonishes all readers/hearers. The Beatitudes – much like the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 – describe the entire Christian. No one of them sufficiently describes a Christian, but all of them together paint a well-rounded picture of Christianity. Jesus speaks about the narrow gate of entrance that leads to life later in the Sermon on the Mount, but in this opening passage he wonderfully describes what that gate looks like.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The poor in spirit are those that understand, by the work of the Holy Spirit, that they are spiritually bankrupt. The poor…
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