Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

“You can’t know how Great God is until you first realize how helpless you are.”

Photo Credit: ms_eyewitness Flickr via Compfight cc

Jesus says this in the opening line of the Sermon on the Mount when he said, “Blessed are the poor in Spirit.”

One time, Jesus was walking with His disciples and a group of people come up to Jesus and want their children to be “blessed”. Now, I don’t know what you have heard about this passage is found in Matthew 19, I’ve always seen pictures of Jesus placing his hands on children’s for heads, possibly making across somewhere… saying a fast prayer and then considering the children blessed, but I really have a hard time with this picture. Maybe it’s because I actually HAVE children and know that that would in no way shape or form “bless them”.

When I think of Jesus, or anyone for that matter, “blessing kids” I always picture him picking up a child, tickling them, and then throwing them up in the air as high as he possibly could. This would be that height where your stomach actually turns and you feel like you’re about to throw up in your eyes grow three times the size is normal as you are praying with all that you have that this person would actually be able to catch you before you splatter on the ground below.

Naturally, Jesus would catch them at the last minute and then throw them back up in the air again. This makes sense to me, both because the children would be blessed as well as the fact that the disciples always seem to be disturbed that Jesus would spend his time doing such things. I mean, seriously, what’s the big deal about taking a few minutes to put your hands on a few kids heads and say fast prayer… But rolling on the ground and throwing them up in the air???  I can understand why the disciples would question whether or not they have the time for this. Here’s what the passage says:

Matthew 19:13-14

13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.

14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

I love this passage. What I love about the passage the most is really what it’s saying between the lines. You see, children have nothing to offer except themselves! They don’t have a lot to bring to the table in a relationship except for their love, their acceptance, and their spirit. They don’t come trying to “teach” things. They don’t come to help you get ahead in life and they rarely come critiquing you. They basically come with empty hands. They’re just glad that you want to spend time with them!

And Jesus says – they are “poor in spirit”… They don’t bring the baggage of spiritual arrogance.

There’s a message here for each of us.

God has a plan for your life. And it’s not to keep you down low. No, it’s not to keep you in a place of “helplessness” or struggle. It’s to enjoy the life of a child of the King. God wants to “bless” you. He wants you to crawl up in his lap, where He can pick you up throw you in the air. All the way to the point where you feel like you’re going to splatter all over the ground, only to have Him catch you… laugh, and do it again. When people around you see your relationship with God they’ll become envious (an aspect of this word “blessed”), but the great thing is, they can have it to!

It just takes starting off by acknowledging you don’t have enough…

You’re know you’re heading down the right path when; no matter where you are in your definition of success, no matter where you are in your five-year plan, and no matter how many years you’ve been coming to church…You’re still simply coming to Him with open hands. You’re crawling up into His lap and you’re ready for God to speak, ready to listen, and ready to obey!


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