Jesus sat down on a hill and began to speak His most remembered message, the Beatitudes. He starts with the word, blessed. Surely everyone wants to be blessed, so you can imagine all the ears perked up across the hillside. But what proceeds was sure to confuse their ears, for what He tells them the only way to be blessed was to be poor. Specifically he tells them “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:3).” Jesus was not speaking of poverty of material goods, but was speaking of a neediness of the spirit. Jesus always spoke in a way that would leave the surface listeners confused, but when we begin to lean in and hear the words in the revelation of the spirit, they always empower
Lets look at the word poor closer in the verse. Ptochos (poor) is from a verb meaning “to shrink, cower, or cringe,” as beggars often did in that day. Classic Greek used the word to refer to a person reduced to total destitution, who crouched in a corner begging. As he held out one hand for some change, he often hid his face with the other hand, because he was ashamed of being recognized. The term did not mean simply poor, but begging poor. It is used in Luke 16:20 to describe the beggar Lazarus.
The word commonly used for ordinary poverty was penichros, and is used of the widow Jesus saw giving an offering in the Temple. She had very little, but she did have “two small copper coins” (Luke 21:2). She was poor but not a beggar. One who is penichros poor has at least some meager resources. One who is ptochos poor, however, is completely dependent on others for sustenance. He or she would have absolutely no means of self-support.
So the revelation Jesus was speaking to us was this, our dependency has to be on Jesus completely. Many still have a self made support system and when we run out, then we run to Jesus for the rest. We have our own system in our lives that works for us Monday thru Saturday, but go into Sunday mornings to get our “praise on” or go to our “weekend-worship experiences” getting our self helping of Jesus to feel self satisfied. Yet Jesus is calling us to a deeper-hungrier level, to where everyday, every moment of the day, we become reliant on him completely. Truly poverty, beggar poverty, needs to beg everyday, every moment or they die. God is calling out, saying to ones that the only way the kingdom of heaven will be released is if we become in need of Jesus everyday, least we die!
Being blessed goes beyond temporary things, but the greatest gift is Jesus himself. Jesus is the kingdom of heaven, for when John the Baptist, came on the scene calling out “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is Coming”, John was preparing the way for Jesus. Many have made the kingdom, of the WHAT that came, with the signs, miracles, and wonders, but it was not the what, but it was the WHO. For without the Who, the what couldn’t have manifest. Jesus came to reveal the new way, the original design way, the kingdom of heaven in the flesh. Holy Spirit is still pointing back to Jesus, even today, that kingdom of Heaven is still able to be accessed in the earth. He wants to show each of us the kingdom today. But how?
Jesus has to become everything. He has to become the first and not the last when we can’t figure things out. He is not the left over thought, but has to become how we think. He has to be our life and not our reaction to life! Blessed are those that are dependent on Jesus for they get the kingdom of Heaven. In other words, when Jesus becomes everything, we get Jesus!!
Make Jesus & His Words life today,