Matthew 5:3 - First Beatitude: Blessings Abiding In Christ!
Mat 5:3 (KJV) Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:3 (NEB) How blest are those who know their need of God;
the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Mat 5:3 (NLT) "God blesses those who realize their need for
him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.
Mat 5:3 (TEV) Happy are those who know they are spiritually
poor; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!
The Beatitudes describe the inner qualities of a follower of
Christ [Ryrie SB]
They describe what we should be like as Christ's followers.
[Life Application SB]
The Beatitudes describe the character traits of those accepted
as citizens of the kingdom of God... [Believer's SB]
Our Saviour here gives eight characters of blessed people, which
represent to us the principal graces of a Christian [Matthew Henry
On these precious Beatitudes, observe that though eight in
number, there are here but seven distinct features of character. The
eighth one-- the "persecuted for righteousness' sake"-- denotes merely
the possessors of the seven preceding features, on account of which
it is that they are persecuted..... the sevenfold character thus set
forth have rightly observed that a complete character is meant to be
depicted, and by the sevenfold blessedness attached to it, a perfect
blessedness is intended. (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)
The qualities Jesus mentioned are internal. These come only when
one is properly related to God through faith, when one places his
complete trust in God. [Bible Knowledge Commentary]
Poor in spirit. those who live in dependence upon God alone.
[Cambridge Annotated SB]
The poor in spirit recognize their spiritual destitution and
depend on God. [Victor Bible Reader's Companion]
Poor. Gr. ptochos, a word indicating deep poverty,... refers to
those who are in dire spiritual poverty and sense keenly their need of
the things the kingdom of heaven has to offer (cf. Acts 3:6; see on
Isa. 55:1). Those who do not feel their spiritual need, who think
themselves "rich, and increased with goods" and in "need of nothing," are,
in the sight of Heaven, "wretched, and miserable, and poor" (Rev.
3:17). None but the "poor in spirit" will ever enter the kingdom of
divine grace; all others feel no need of heaven's riches, and decline
its blessings..... There is no room in the kingdom of heaven for the
proud, the self-satisfied, the self-righteous. Christ bids the poor in
heart to exchange their poverty for the riches of His grace. [SDA
He who feels whole, who thinks that he is reasonably good, and
is contented with his condition, does not seek to become a partaker
of the grace and righteousness of Christ. Pride feels no need, and
so it closes the heart against Christ and the infinite blessings He
came to give. There is no room for Jesus in the heart of such a
person. Those who are rich and honorable in their own eyes do not ask in
faith, and receive the blessing of God. They feel that they are full,
therefore they go away empty. Those who know that they cannot possibly
save themselves, or of themselves do any righteous action, are the
ones who appreciate the help that Christ can bestow. They are the
poor in spirit, whom He declares to be blessed. MB6-9
That broken and contrite spirit ..... This poverty in spirit is
put first among the Christian graces. The philosophers did not
reckon humility among their moral virtues, but Christ puts it first.
Self-denial is the first lesson to be learned in his school, and poverty of
spirit entitled to the first beatitude. The foundation of all other
graces is laid in humility. Those who would build high must begin low;
and it is an excellent preparative for the entrance of gospel-grace
into the soul; it fits the soil to receive the seed. Those who are
weary and heavy laden, are the poor in spirit, and they shall find
rest with Christ. (Matthew Henry's Commentary)
Being "poor in spirit" means admitting that no one can have
spiritual wealth in and of themselves--that all are dependent on God alone
for spiritual salvation and daily grace. Such a person aligns with
God's will, even against the desires of his own. [New Bible
The Beatitudes are not primarily promises to the individual but
a description of him. They do not show a man how to be saved, but
describe the characteristics manifested by one who is born again.
[Wycliffe Bible Commentary]
The Beatitudes contain the dynamite of the Holy Ghost.... The
Sermon on the Mount is not a set of rules and regulations: it is a
statement of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is getting His way
with us. [My Utmost for His Highest Oswald Chambers]
The natural inclination in Christian living is to act on the
impulse of a good idea. Not every good idea is from God. Sometimes good
ideas get in the way of God ideas.
Where does your inspiration come from? The vision of the
transfigured Christ inspired Peter: "O Lord, it is good for us to be here. If
you wish, I will put up three shelters - one for you, one for Moses
and one for Elijah" (Matthew 17:4). Our natural impulse is to do
something good for God and suggest it to Him.
The tendency of the well-meaning person is to prepare a plan to
do some good idea, and then pray, "Jesus, this is my plan. It is a
good plan. It hurts no one, and I want it to please You. Lord, please
bless my plan." It is plan, then pray.
So many of our ideas are impetuous. They are not what the Lord
wants to do. They do not resemble in any way the things which concern
Him. We have good ideas, but they are not God ideas. His agenda and
our agenda conflict. We want to build Him a shelter but that is not
what He wants.... When Peter, James, and John heard the voice of the
Lord . . . they abandoned their inventive-but-self-made idea. The
presence of the Lord magnified, and His holiness brought them to their
senses. Jesus gained their attention, not by subduing them with a stem
scolding, but by magnifying His presence until all the genius of their
human ideas was bleached out by His refulgent face.
When they abandoned their good idea and fell facedown before the
Lord, He could work with them again....
When you and I abandon our good idea and fall to our face before
me Lord, then He will come and touch us, too. When we pursue our
own plan He cannot use us. We must abandon our good idea and fall
facedown before Him. Then He will be able to use us again. Then He will
reveal what He is doing - a God idea.... It is pray, then plan. Through
prayer, Jesus instructs of His plan, a God idea.
Prayer removes the impulse of the good idea, the good idea born
of human ingenuity but not of God. Pray, then plan. It is the habit
of the surrendered saint. (From Walking with Christ in the Details
of Life by Patrick M. Morley) [Inspirational SB]