Matthew 5:3 – Blessed are the poor in the spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
The poor are dependent upon others for survival; likewise, the ‘poor in spirit’ are dependent upon God. For many, this is a difficult concept to grasp. However, if we desire to be happy and inherit the Kingdom, that is in part available now, then it is essential we recognize that we must learn absolute trust and dependency on God (John 15:5). Without God, we have no hope (Ephesians 2:11-12). We are spiritually dead and destitute without Christ, and all our riches are in Him alone. Unless we come to a place of total dependence upon Him, we will never walk in the faith that inherits the promises. Therefore, God in His mercy teaches us to break the hold of self-reliance; no matter what it takes, we learn to trust in and rely on God alone (Genesis 32:30-31; 1 Peter 1:6-7, 5:6).
The most important thing to understand about the word used for “poor” in spirit and its Hebrew equivalent ‘anee’ is it primarily expresses a relationship rather than a state of social distress (Isaiah 41:17-18; Psalms 35:10, 37:14, 40:17, 70:5, 86:1). The word “poor” is essentially equivalent to “meek” and “humble”, and will be discovered to be synonymous with the word translated “meek” in verse 5. God comes and helps those who are poor in spirit – who are in contrast to the proud and self-reliant (Psalms 18:27). Those who are spiritually poor are not self-willed, but live only to do the will of the Father. The spiritually poor are those who have allowed God to conquer their hearts and to lead them away as prisoners of the Kingdom (Ephesians 4:8).
The message of the Gospel came to those who are spiritually poor (Luke 4:18; Isaiah 61:1). It is understood by those who are as little children, and hidden from those who believe themselves to be wise and prudent (Matthew 11:25, 18:3; Luke 10:21). The riches of the inheritance in Christ Jesus are received by those who trust in their Heavenly Father to give them all that they need and all that He has promised.
Pastor Mark Spitsbergen