Saturday, February 5, 2011

Beatitudes 1 -- It's not what I thought

Matthew 5
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (NIV)

Well it seems straight forward.
If you are poor or depressed God will give you the kingdom of heaven, Right?
What else could it mean? Didn't Jesus come to save the least the last and the lost? Well, I'm doing my research and once again I find I am mistaken.
The phrase "poor in spirit" does not refer to poverty of finance or mental illness but to a self awareness of our situation. We are poor in spirit because we live in a broken world, we are prone to sin and we have lost our connection to God and now we know it. Indeed we feel in every fiber of our being the need of salvation from this state and realize that we are unable to save ourselves. I'm poor in spirit just defining it. I could see how someone could spend their earthly fortunes seeking to rectify the status of their soul to no end. This could make them poor. Constantly living in this state of brokenness with no end in sight and no power to affect or change it certainly could lead to depression, feeling poor in spirit.

However depression and poverty are not requirements to receiving the kingdom of God. It is accepting that we are not kings in this kingdom, that we are not the center, that we are not God and seeking to join the kingdom anyway. Jesus bridges the gap and saves us from ourselves.It is in our self awareness of our need and in our seeking of a savior that we first find salvation.

No comments: