Answers

By   •   September 1, 2004   •   Topics:

Q:

What does it mean to be poor in spirit, as Jesus said we ought to be? I don't understand this, because it seems to me that we ought to strive to be rich in spirit, not poor. Or am I missing the point?


A:

Your confusion is understandable; after all, the Bible does warn us against being empty and impoverished in our souls, and urges us to seek spiritual riches instead. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

But Jesus also said that there is another kind of spiritual poverty—one we should seek. He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). What did He mean? Simply this: We must be humble in our spirits. If you put the word “humble” in place of the word “poor,” you will understand what He meant.

In other words, when we come to God, we must realize our own sin and our spiritual emptiness and poverty. We must not be self-satisfied or proud in our hearts, thinking we don’t really need God. If we are, God cannot bless us. The Bible says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

Pride can take all kinds of forms, but the worst is spiritual pride. Often the richer we are in things, the poorer we are in our hearts. Have you faced your own need of Christ? Do you realize that you are a sinner and need God’s forgiveness? Don’t let pride or anything else get in the way, but turn to Christ in humility and faith—and He will bless you and save you.

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128 Comments

  1. Abundance says:

    Hello. Jesus said “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” because the poor in spirit are those He came to offer a gateway to transformation, to healing and wholeness. Wholeness is experienced by reconnecting to the source through the Christ. The poor in spirit are aware they are cut-off or without. As they seek God, they will find God and inherit access to the “All things are possible” pathway, the Kingdom. This is what the Holy Spirit is speaking in my ear. I hope this is helpful to you.

  2. Uko inyang says:

    I love this site!

  3. Samsey says:

    I thank God 4 this revelation. Now I know what it talks about.

  4. Karen Andrae says:

    Thank you

  5. Obiri Ishmael says:

    As a humanbeing we need to understand every word in the bible because we can’t live without the word of God

  6. Eric Robinson says:

    Are there any references to contemporary usage of the phrase “poor in spirit” at the time of Christ, or is it unique to Jesus, as far as we know?

  7. Carla purvis says:

    Just started a Bible study and wanted more on the verse above! Great explanation! Sure hope Dr Graham is resting comfortably – what a gentleman!

  8. Carla purvis says:

    Just started a Bible study and wanted more on the verse above! Great explanation! Sure hope Dr Graham is resting comfortably – what a gentleman!

  9. Betty J Clark says:

    This really helped me! Now I can clearly understand when I put the word humble in the place of poor.

  10. Jerry says:

    Pastor thank u very much 4 this post,I was meditating on this word poor n was seeing d lesser part of it which means d poor of a person but nw i can understand God bless u