Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God. Matthew 5:3
Some begin their speaking with an illustration or a snappy title. Some find a way to ease their audience toward their point. Some talk and talk and never arrive at their destination. Jesus began the greatest sermon ever preached with a thunderclap. His opening volley was as counterculture then as it is now. And make no mistake, it is as counter to our culture as can be heard.
The kingdom does not belong to the ‘you can be anything you want,’ ‘everybody loves a winner,’ ‘pull yourself up by your own bootstraps,’ ‘I’m OK you’re OK,’ ‘when the going gets tough the tough get going,’ ‘I believe I can fly,’ ‘just as long as you’re happy,’ crowd.
Rather, it is to the ‘I’ve never felt so empty,’ ‘will this misery ever end,’ ‘I just can’t go on,’ ‘how will I ever look HIM in the face,’ ‘Lord, have mercy on this sinner,’ crowd that he bestows the most massive of riches, admission to the kingdom of God.
That last crowd we are told are like the words of Jesus, rather few compared to others. Even Jesus’ stories were not wordy. It was as if he did not have a jot or a tittle to spare, as if every word was just so priceless and so significant that nothing else would do. No ornament need be added. No stroke dare be taken away. Priceless. Priceless, because they are his words, enduring, never shaken, always so.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.
What a Savior. What a Savior. Oh, what a Savior!