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The Gospel - Poor in Spirit

Text: Matthew 5:3 & Luke 6:20

Jesus spoke to the crowd

Who were they?

Some were ordinary people of the day

Some were people that “did not matter”

Some were poor or unemployed

Some were outcasts of society

Some were merchants, laborers, craftsman,

business owners and spiritual leaders


Most everyone deals with feelings of insecurity

at some time or another. We question our worth,

our significance. Especially as teens, we question

our value, and often feel like we don’t fit in.

Later in life we have scars from experiences and

hurts from poor choices, and the feelings of self-

doubt resurface. The older we get we may feel

like we have less value because we cannot do

the things we once did. Seniors may feel like

they are a burden to others, and that their life

has lost value.

What did Jesus say?

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Luke 6:20 Blessed are you who are poor,

for yours is the kingdom of God.

What did it mean to be poor, or poor in spirit?

The Greek word in Matthew and Luke

for poor is “ptochos.”

It means destitute, poverty stricken,

bankrupt, without possessing anything.


Was Jesus teaching that there is some moral

superiority in poverty? Was Jesus teaching

that it is needful to acknowledge our spiritual

bankruptcy? I don’t think so. Let’s look at

other passages that speak of the “spirit”

within a person. Psalm 34:18 The Lord is

near to the brokenhearted and saves those

who are crushed in spirit. Proverbs 16:19

It is better to be humble in spirit with the

needy than to divide the spoils with the

proud. Proverbs 15:13 A joyful heart

makes a cheerful face, but when the heart

is sad, the spirit is broken. Proverbs 17:22

A broken spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 18:14 The spirit of a person can

endure his sickness, but as for a broken

spirit, who can endure it? Jesus was

looking at the spirit within the crowds.

He saw their hurt, their powerlessness

and hopelessness.

What was Jesus saying to them?

Jesus was speaking to broken and

hurting people.

People who were crushed in spirit,

without societal value or standing.

He was expressing acceptance of them

and assuring them of a heavenly



This is good news! Regardless of how

others in this world value you, God says

“you are to die for.” While you draw

breath you are never beyond the reach

of God’s infinite grace.

What does this mean to us?

No matter if you may feel that you

are far from God…

No matter how much you have

screwed up in the past…

No matter how little value you place

on your own existence…

No matter how little the world may

value you…

These do not disqualify you from His

infinite grace!

God is not looking for you to perform

better! He calls you blessed!

God is letting you know that He loves

you and wants to give you His life.


An infinite amount of money would make

Bill Gates or Warren Buffet look poor.

Poor as a measure of wealth must always

be made in comparison. But all that we

have, all that we gain, all that seems to

give us value; when compared to God’s

grace, it will all be “nothing.”

Paul says it this way in Phillipians 3:7-14

But whatever things were gain to me,

these things I have counted as loss

because of Christ. More than that, I

count all things to be loss in view of the

surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus

my Lord, for whom I have suffered the

loss of all things, and count them mere

rubbish, so that I may gain Christ, and

may be found in Him, not having a

righteousness of my own derived from

the Law, but that which is through faith

in Christ, the righteousness which comes

from God on the basis of faith, that I

may know Him and the power of His

resurrection and the fellowship of His

sufferings, being conformed to His death;

if somehow I may attain to the

resurrection from the dead. Not that I

have already grasped it all or have

already become perfect, but I press on

if I may also take hold of that for which

I was even taken hold of by Christ Jesus.

Brothers and sisters, I do not regard

myself as having taken hold of it yet;

but one thing I do: forgetting what lies

behind and reaching forward to what

lies ahead, I press on toward the goal

for the prize of the upward call of God

in Christ Jesus.

Truth for Today

We serve an infinite God

who has infinite Grace

for an infinite number of

poor people with infinite needs.

(Blessed are you if you believe Him!)

This old hymn says it all…

Marvelous Grace –

Grace Greater than Our Sin

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord. Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt! Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.

Refrain: Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that will pardon and cleanse within Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin!

2 Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold, Threaten the soul with infinite loss; Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold Points to the Refuge, the mighty Cross.

3 Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace, Freely bestowed on all who believe! You that are longing to see His face, Will you this moment His grace receive?


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