Daily Devotions


Day 39

An Extraordinary Idea

Text: Matthew 5 : 1 - 12

As Jesus expounded His teachings, people soon realized that His ideas were extraordinary, to say the least! His opening words must have caught everyone’s attention.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 5:3

What could Jesus mean by this statement? How could the poor be called “blessed”? What did He mean when He spoke of being “poor in spirit” anyway?


What Jesus said may have sounded startling. However, on closer examination of the Scriptures, we realize that His concept was very Biblical! The idea of the poor in spirit (and sometimes just, ‘the poor’) being blessed by God was frequently used in the Book of Psalms. Let us consider the following texts.

1. The poor are blessed because they are not forgotten by God

“For the needy shall not always be forgotten;
The expectation of the poor shall not perish forever.”
Psalm 9:18

There were many who were poor in Israel. They often felt “forgotten” by both men and God. Jesus’ word to them would have brought comfort, hope and joy to the hearts of the poor. He had come to tell them that they were not forgotten by God. Their expectations would not perish. God was near at hand. The kingdom of heaven was close at hand! All they need to do is to reach out in faith to Jesus and they would understand what He meant about being blessed!

2. The poor are blessed when they seek the Lord

“The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
Those who seek Him will praise the Lord.
Let your heart live forever!”
Psalm 22:26

The rich tended to take God for granted. The poor on the other hand, in desperation cry out to God for even basic needs! The Lord, out of compassion, hears and answers the cry of the poor and looks after them. Those who seek Him in faith would surely find themselves praising the Lord that His ears are not closed to the poor.

The following text may be used to prove that the above observation is indeed true.

“This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.”
Psalm 34:6

Jesus the Messiah had not come to Israel to deliver people from their poverty. He had come to tell them that they need not worry about being poor either. They need not feel that they are unblessed. If they were to believe and turn to Jesus the Messiah, they would enter into His Kingdom. What greater blessing could one ask for than to be able to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven?

3. The poor may enjoy the salvation of the Lord

“And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord;
It shall rejoice in His salvation.
All my bones shall say,
‘Lord, who is like You,
Delivering the poor from him who is too
strong for him,
Yes, the poor and the needy from him who
plunders him? ‘ ”
Psalm 35:9-10

The poor may be ill-treated at times. However, he is no less a child of God enjoying all privileges of salvation, if he were to exercise his faith and believe in the Lord.

a) He will find joy in the Lord.

b) He will rejoice in the salvation God gives him.

c) He will discover just how wonderful the Lord is in his life.

4. The history of Israel illustrates an important truth

“You, O God, sent a plentiful rain,
Whereby You confirmed Your inheritance,
When it was weary.
Your congregation dwelt in it;
You, O God, provided from Your goodness
to the poor.”
Psalm 68:9-10

Thank God for His marvellous grace showered upon Israel again and again! It was out of God’s goodness that He provided for the poor! When Israel thought itself rich, then it brought trouble to itself. The following text bears out this truth.

“Now in my prosperity I said,
‘I shall never be moved’…
You hid Your face, and I was troubled.”
Psalm 30:6-7

Jesus was right! Wealth does not necessary equal “blessing”. The poor in spirit would earnestly seek God in fervent and genuine faith. They are blessed indeed when God hears them and admits them into His kingdom.