Jesus startled the masses on the mountainside as He opened to them the first steps in becoming subjects of His new kingdom. “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3. The people listened spellbound as the Holy Spirit unfolded to them the meaning of Christ’s words.
In Christ’s days, the religious leaders believed that they were rich in spiritual treasure. They didn’t know that in reality they were spiritually bankrupt. The Pharisee prayed, “God, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men are.” Luke 18:11. People who are content with their condition before God will feel no need of Christ’s righteousness. Pride leaves no room in the heart where it dwells, and the proud cannot appreciate the help Christ came to give to struggling and weak human beings.
Jesus came to bless those who are poor in spirit, those who recognize their spiritual poverty. Even as the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, Christ is waiting to pardon. As we come to realize we have nothing good in us, we can recognize the Lamb of God as our only hope. When we fall upon Christ all broken in spirit, we find that Jesus can put us back together all brand new—new creatures in Christ.
“All who have a sense of their deep soul poverty, who feel that they have nothing good in themselves, may find righteousness and strength by looking unto Jesus… He bids you exchange your poverty for the riches of His grace… Whatever may have been your past experience, however discouraging your present circumstances, if you will come to Jesus just as you are, weak, helpless, and despairing, our compassionate Saviour will meet you a great way off, and will throw about you His arms of love and His robe of righteousness.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 8, 9.