Beggars and the Kingdom

10 Aug

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 5:3  NIV

This is the first in the vereses we refer to as “The Beatitudes.”

We already established that “blessed” in these verses is from the Greek word “makarios.”  This means “happy.”

Happy are the poor in spirit. Hmmm, this seems to make no sense. If someone is poor in spirit, I think of them as being upset, depressed, sad. Happy are the sad? 

What does poor in spirit really mean?  The original word for poor really translates poor. Not sad, but poor, meaning in need, as a beggar. The original word for spirit comes from the Greek  “pneuma.”  The Vines translation explains it as the element in which a man perceives, reflects, feels, desires.

If we use additional words to relay the meaning, the verse might read something like “Blessed with happiness are those who are needy beggars in their own hearts and minds, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

To use fewer words, it might say, ” Happy are those who aren’t full of pride and entitlement, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

We don’t like to think of ourselves as prideful, but it creeps into our thinking all the time.

I’ve been a good wife, mother, employee – surely God could do this one thing for me. An entitled, deserving way of thinking.

At least I haven’t acted like him/her – comparing yourself to others again thinks your behavior has earned something.

Least we think God is harsh in saying we must recognize our beggar state before Him, remember His desire is to reward us with the kingdom of heaven. 

An unfair trade, in our favor.

 

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