Matthew 5 contains one of the most profound sermons any one could hear. I really wish I had been in church that day as Jesus rolled out His master plan for the construction of a beautiful heart in all humans.
At the heart of the beatitudes is the poverty of spirit.
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The true purpose of our calling is to be able to inherit the Kingdom of God and partake of eternal life. Those are huge aspects of our faith that will take a lifetime to discuss. In fact, our lives right now as Christians and all our writings and teachings and all that cannot be truly Christian if it does not point us towards inheriting the Kingdom.
Christ here lays it all out in the most open way possible, not mincing words. And the criteria He lays out first points us straight to how we can inherit this Kingdom and make it ours: poverty of spirit.
This character is what brings a sinner to Christ in the first instance. You see, the flesh is quite weak and proud. Our flesh tends to generally believe in its own grandiosity and what makes human what they are is the false beauty of having the ability to live for self and pleasure. When we live that way, nothing can stop us from considering that we are the best and that our choices are awesome. Even when we see someone living alone far better life, we become jealous or something close to that and consider his ways rather too this or far too that. Essentially, it is always about us and our decisions are to make us satisfied. It never is of our own volition, or more appropriately, it is never the flesh’s decision to come to Christ. The flesh can never be subdued without a spiritual acknowledgement of a physical pride and hence, the spirit that has become animated due to the activities of sin and vanity must bow to the highest power of the Holy Spirit. It must humble itself and consider itself as nothing to really become a candidate of heaven.
Really it is not easy for this to happen. The true test of this humbling is in Jesus’ statement in Matthew 10:15
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
Well because it really is a stupid proposition Jesus brings to the earth. It makes absolutely no sense and you can be rest assured Nicodemus was not alone in that weird feeling of weirdness when Jesus told him to be born again. Why? So you can have eternal life. What in Gehenna is that? Err…you need it because the way you’re living right now is not how you were designed to live. What? You mean I’m a robot? *sigh*
Okay, maybe not exactly. But you get the point. And the absurdity of a man dying for the sins of man is what really amazes people. Seriously? To even accept that our present sweet and pleasant is sinful is a great demand on our person. How dare he call me a sinner? What’s a sinner even? Nonsense.
Now to accept the gospel of Christ in simplicity demands great humility and what we term child-like faith today. We come but the Spirit realising that the way we are is not the way we ought to be. Okay. This is the way. Okay. Let’s go.
Of course it is never that straightforward but it essentially is so. When we are able to let go of our own ways and accept the way of God, we make our selves prime candidates of the Kingdom of God. As a child accepts the authority of the father, so must we accept God.
That is the basic essence of poverty of the spirit. Our ways for His. Our desires for His. Our conversation for His. Our essence for His. Our very life for His.