Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit: For Theirs Is The Kingdom Of Heaven
Blessed.–The word differs from that used in Matthew 23:39; Matthew 25:34, as expressing a permanent state of felicity, rather than the passive reception of a blessing bestowed by another.
The poor in spirit.–The limitation, as in “the pure in heart,” points to the region of life in which the poverty is found. In Luke 6:20 there is no such qualifying clause, and there the words speak of outward poverty, as in itself a less perilous and therefore happier state than that of riches. Here the blessedness is that of those who, whatever their outward state may be, are in their inward life as those who feel that they have nothing of their own, must be receivers before they give, must be dependent on another’s bounty, and be, as it were, the “bedesmen” of the great King. To that temper of mind belongs the “kingdom of heaven,” the eternal realities, in this life and the life to come, of that society of which Christ is the Head. Things are sometimes best understood by their contraries, and we may point to the description of the church of Laodicea as showing us the opposite type of character, thinking itself “rich” in the spiritual life, when it is really as “the pauper,” destitute of the true riches, blind and naked.
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