Let’s read that verse. Luke 6:20 says, “And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.” This is part of what we know as the Beatitudes. This is also recorded in Matthew, chapter 5, with a little more detail than what we have in the book of Luke. Let’s read Matthew 5:1-3, “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the POOR IN SPIRIT: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” I believe this may help us to understand what the Lord is teaching us here.

To be ‘poor in spirit’ is to recognize our true needs and helplessness. It is only when we do that, that we can fully rely upon the Lord to meet our needs. We have a tendency to ‘give it our all’ and fail to give our burdens over to the Lord until we realize our own true poverty. Until we come to the Lord, bowing our knee before Him and owning Him as Savior and Lord, we are truly helpless. Before coming to the Lord, Romans 5:6 says that we were “without strength” and “ungodly”. Verse 8 says that we were “sinners.” Verse 10 says that we were “enemies” of God. Indeed, we were extremely poor, yet for so long, we did not realize and acknowledge that. So often we try to win God’s favor by working hard. We do all we can to please Him and hope that our works will satisfy Him. However, Isaiah 64:6 tells us that, “…all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” Ephesians 2:9 tells us that we are saved, “not of works, lest any man should boast.” Titus 3:5 says our salvation comes, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” We were extremely poor and helpless to please God. Helpless to change our condition as guilty sinners before God.

Although we may be poor in man’s riches, those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior are rich beyond measure! 2 Corinthians 8:9 says, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” We are rich! We are rich in God’s grace. We are rich in God’s love. We are rich because we are now the children of God, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…” (Romans 8:17) We who were so poor are now rich beyond measure.

This is how the “poor in spirit” become part of the kingdom of Heaven. When we finally stop trying to earn our salvation through our own works; when we finally realize our own poverty and helplessness; when we finally realize that salvation is found ONLY through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; it is then that we can truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and receive His free gift of salvation. It is because of “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” that He bestows the richest blessings on those who believe on Him. (229.4)