The Poor In Spirit

Q. I am struggling with Matthew 5:3 where Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” I also noticed that spirit is with a small s and not a capitol S. Could you please give me some insight into what Jesus was saying here as I really struggle to understand this verse.

A. The Greek word translated poor means to be destitute of wealth, influence, position, or honor. Being in the lower case spirit refers to the human spirit, not the Spirit of God.

Therefore, those who are poor in spirit are not self-sufficient or proud. They don’t think they are somehow better than others, or deserving of recognition.

On the contrary, they know they haven’t earned and don’t deserve the free gift of salvation they’ve received and therefore believe they owe a great debt of gratitude to the Lord for saving them, one they will never be able to repay.

Their most prominent characteristic is their humility. According to Numbers 12:3, Moses was such a man.

“Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.”

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