“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs in the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5:3
We call these the beatitudes because each teaching of Jesus starts with “blessed are.” They are the core of Jesus’ teaching. They are the start of a sermon that lasts for three chapters in Matthew’s gospel. If you want to know what Jesus really was about, this is a good place to start. The words still challenge us, because it’s very clear that Jesus has a special place in his heart for the underdogs in life. He focuses on the poor, the sad, the meek, the hungry and thirsty, the persecuted. In our culture of success and achievement it can be hard to admit that we fall into any of those categories. And I think maybe that’s the point. Each of the beatitudes is about someone who is incomplete, who is failing, who has weakness. If we want the blessings Jesus gives, we must start by admitting our need for them.