Sunday Service (M900) | Mount Zion Church | 2 February 2020 | Blessed are the Poor and the Hunger | Beatitudes Sermon Series | Matthew 5:3, 6
The Beatitudes are eight blessings recounted by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew Mat.5:1-12. This teaching appeared as the opening of the sermon because it is very important for us. This teaching explains attitudes and characters that God are looking for among believers then it will bring heavenly blessings. Jesus was not talking about a physical blessing because the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal 2Cor.4:18. The word ’blessed’ (Greek: makarios) also translated as ‘happy’ Jn.13:17. So this teaching will definitely bring down a heavenly happiness if we obey and do all of that.
1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven … 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:1-3, 6 NKJV
THE POOR IN SPIRIT
The first heavenly blessing is prepared for a group of people who are poor in spirit. This does not mean that we must being poor physically here in the earth nor being poor spiritually when we arrive in the heaven, instead Jesus taught us to lay up treasures in heaven Mat.6:20. This attitude that Jesus was speaking is about being poor in our spirit, right now, here in this world! The word ‘poor’ also translated as ‘beggar’ Lk.16:20. Being a beggar physically in this world may have so many reasons behind it. Laziness could make someone being a beggar and there is no heavenly blessing for this condition as God always teach His people to not being lazy. The sluggard must go to the ant, consider her ways and be wise Pro.6:6. Disabilities also could make someone being a beggar just like the lame man who was laid daily at the gate of the holy temple, asking alms from those who entered the temple Ac.3:1-2. Being poor means have no ability to sustain life by themselves unless someone have a favour to help them out.
Jesus is looking for people who has the attitude of poor, not physically but in spirit. Being poor in spirit means that we have a good acknowledgement about our spiritual need so that we will keep asking spiritual things just like a beggar that sit and keep asking and waiting for the alms. To get a physical stuff we can work and use our skill to get it. But in regard to spiritual things, we definitely can not use our own ability unless we ask it and receive it from heaven! People can not understand what Jesus was saying in the Bible unless Holy Spirit open up their mind and give them the mind of Christ 1Cor.2:10, 16. The scribes and the Pharisees, who were very smart and wise, did not able to understand Jesus’ speech, they were not able to listen to His word Jn.8:43. People will not able to understand the mind of Christ with their smart wisdom unless he asks for it from God. God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty 1Cor.1:27. We can use our brain to understand biology, physics, economics, and so on. But we can not merely use our brain and we must be a beggar in spirit if we want to understand about God and His kingdom, if we want to experience more of Him!
To be a beggar in spirit we must humble ourselves so that we can start asking something from God. Naaman was very proud with his richness and his power, he thought that he could buy everything, including healing for his leprous from Elisha. He brought 10 talents of silver, 6,000 shekels of gold, and 10 changes of clothing. But when Elisha asked him to go and wash in the Jordan 7 times, Naaman became furious, and went away and said, “Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.’ Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” Naaman turned and went away in a rage 2Ki.5:9-12. What happened with Naaman is an important lesson that the spiritual things can not be bought with money, but we must be humble to ask for it. Another person called Simon tried to buy the power that he saw in Peter and John. But again, the Bible prove that the spiritual gift is not for sale, it is only given to those who humble and ready to serve for the glory of God Ac.8:18-21. The gift of the Holy Spirit will be given to those who ask it in humbleness. We can not get that gift with our own skills. The beggar will cry out loud said, “Son of David, have mercy on us Mat.9:27!”
If we need helps from heaven, when we find a big struggle in our family, when we find difficulties in our ministry, we must ready to be a beggar in spirit. If we are praying for salvation for our family member, when we are praying for deliverance, restoration, we must be ready to be a beggar as well! The psalmist told us about the attitude of being a spiritual beggar: Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until He has mercy on us Psa.123:2. The beggar will be happy to wait until someone has mercy on him. So do the spiritual beggar must happy to wait until God has mercy on them.
Elisha was being a beggar in spirit when he was asking for the double portion of the anointing spirit of Elijah. Moses also was being a beggar in the spirit when he was asking God to lead the way, he said: “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here Ex.33:15-16.” Moses got more because he was asking for more. Elisha got more because he was asking for double portions. And believers will get more if we are asking for more spiritual blessings with a humble heart. The poor in spirit are blessed because the kingdom of heaven will be theirs! God is ready to give the kingdom of heaven and all its glorious for His people if they want to be a beggar in spirit. Not because God wants to humiliate His people, but because God wants us to learn to be humble, to respect Him completely, so that we also respect what we are asking for. Let’s be the poor in spirit so that we will get more heavenly gifts that already prepared for us.
THE HUNGER AND THE THIRST
Another similar attitude that Jesus explained was being hunger and thirsty for righteousness. Blessed are those people because they will get filled! Once again, we may see how God is very pleased with those who keep asking and have a desire for the spiritual things. So, what is righteousness? It is something that we can eat and drink so that we can hunger and thirsty for it. Jesus said that we must seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things shall be added to us Mat.6:33. Righteousness simply defined as the quality of being morally right or justifiable. We must be hunger and thirsty to do everything right in the presence of God, according to His heart, so when the day come that we will be justified, we will be found right Heb.9:27. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad 2Cor.5:10. It is very important for believers to always have a desire to do everything right, in God’s and not in our own way. It is very important to always back to the Bible and align everything with the rule of the eternity.
Even though there are so many challenges for us to always doing the right things, the psalmist told us: “The wicked wait for me to destroy me, but I will consider Your testimonies Psa.119:95.” Indeed, we may experience so many pressures around us, even sometimes intimidation, when we decide to always do the right things, but we must still consider and do that for the heaven’s sake! The Bible reminds us: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart Gal.6:7-9.” He who sows righteousness will have a sure reward Pro.11:18.
When David was chased by Saul, he decided to always do the right things even though his soldiers put a pressure on him to kill Saul inside the cave 1Sam.24:4. David said: “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord 1Sam.24:6.” Even when another occasion came for David to kill Saul easily, David still said the same things 1Sam.26:11. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled. At the end we can see how God filled David with strong blessing from heaven. His name become perpetual as Messiah is called as Son of David!
CONCLUSION & CHALLENGE
What it’s all about?
Being poor in spirit means that we have a good acknowledgement about our spiritual need so that we will keep asking spiritual things just like a beggar that sit and keep asking and waiting for the alms. To be a beggar in spirit we must humble ourselves so that we can start asking something from God. The spiritual beggar must happy to wait until God has mercy on them. We must be hunger and thirsty to do everything right in the presence of God, according to His heart. We may experience so many pressures around us, even sometimes intimidation, when we decide to always do the right things, but we must still consider and do that for the heaven’s sake. He who sows righteousness will have a sure reward.
Insights and impressions:
Being beggar in spirit here in this world will definitely lay up spiritual treasures in heaven, and also being enriched with heavenly experience here in this world. We may ask double portion of heavenly gift just like Elisha so that we have more experience with God during our journey of faith down here in this world.
These attitudes that we learn today is the key to real blessings and real happiness! Let’s start the attitude of beggar in spirit. Let’s keep asking and waiting for the heavenly things, and keep doing the right things for the rewards is sure. AMEN.