The beatitudes are a collection of 8 wise sayings that Jesus speaks at the beginning of his sermon on the mount. This is Jesus’ opus, his grand slam, his game winning shot in the 4th quarter, or his Mona Lisa. Jesus was about to give his grand sermon of all sermons. The people lined up for miles to hear him speak. They were ready. He was ready.
Every good preacher knows that the opening of the sermon plays a huge role in what is to come. It sets up the person listening to receive the message to come. Jerry Seinfeld once said, “A good comedian knows how to close, a great comedian knows how to open.” Jesus begins his sermon with the foundation of everything to come. His opening line is, “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Why is this so important? To understand why you first have to understand the what. What is Jesus sayin here?
The poor in spirit are those who practice humility. The poor in spirit are those who do not see themselves more highly than they ought too. These people are not door mats. These are not people who get pushed around. These are people who are strong but are strong enough to empty themselves of themselves and say to Jesus, “I am not enough, but please fill me up.” The poor in spirit are those who are humble at the core of who they are.
Why is this important? Jesus was giving his sermon of all sermons and the first thing he wanted the listeners to hear was: Be Humble! As a follower of Jesus my first step always should be towards humility. I cannot do it. I am not good enough. I am not the one. In a world that teaches from am early age, self, it is not a natural position to say, I am second or better yet, I am third. God first, other’s second, and I am third. We tend to live in the immortal words of Ricky Bobby, “If you ain’t first you’re last”. As much as that is a funny quote from a movie, it rings true in a lot of we see in today’s culture. So are we ready to receive what God has to say to us? Are we ready to receive what God has created us to receive? Are we ready to walk in the Spirit and let the Spirit of God lead? If so, the starting point is: Humility!
My hope today is that we spend time meditating on the thought that, “blessed are the poor in spirit (the humble) for theirs is the kingdom of God”.
1. Where are some areas that you have a hard time being humble?
2. Who do you need to say sorry to about being less than humble than you should’ve?
3. What would being humble look like in today’s world?