Who Are The Poor In Spirit?

Who Are The Poor In Spirit
Who Are The Poor In Spirit

Who Are The Poor In Spirit is the first post in my new Beatitudes Series. The Beatitudes are the blessings spoken by Jesus in Matthew 5, also called Sermon On The Mount.

I created a Let’s Get Practical section to help you study the Scripture further and assist in a deeper understanding of the study.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:3

Meaning For Poor In Spirit

The word used for poor in Matthew 5:3 in our Bible Translations comes from the Greek word ‘Ptóchos’ which means extreme poverty and is linked to the word ‘ptóssein’ meaning crouch down or steep low.  

To be poor in spirit literally means someone is so poor that they have to get down on their knees to beg. 

Another word in Greek for poor is ‘Penés’ which describes a person who has to earn their living by working with their hands. 

These two words ‘Ptóchos’ and ‘Penés’ paint for us the picture of two scenarios of poor, the one where someone has to put food on the table by working, but are still scraping by and have barely enough, and the other of someone who maybe cannot work and don’t have anything with the result that they have to get down on their knees to beg.

The Hebrew word for ‘poor’ is ‘ebiön or ani’ used to describe the poor as being humble, helpless people who know how dependent they are on God and have to trust Him with their whole hearts. 

Who Are The Poor In Spirit?

The poor in spirit are content with what they have and loosened themselves from material things, knowing the things from this world do not possess value in the Kingdom of God. 

It is not God’s desire to see us in physical poverty and live lives without food or shelter, but Matthew 5:3 demonstrate to us that God requires us to have spiritual poverty.  

The church of Laodicea thought they were rich with all their wealth on earth, yet God told them that they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked (Revelation 3:17-18).  Earthly wealth never guarantees true happiness.

Jesus prayed in the Lord’s prayer “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” 

In the Kingdom of heaven, the perfect will of God will be done in heaven and earth. 

When we know how dependant we are on God, that without Him we are nothing and can not do anything, we are within God’s will. 

There is a strong connection between trust and obedience and to trust God is to obey Him. 

Then we will learn true humility and the Holy Spirit will enable us to rise above our own human nature, abilities, inabilities, helplessness, and ignorance to be poor in spirit.

To be poor in spirit is one of God’s qualities that require us to be completely dependent on Him with all our soul, and heart, and to love Him with our whole being.  

This is not a Kingdom characteristic that we can achieve on our own, but when we spend time with God in prayer and Bible reading or studying the Holy Spirit will equip us with it.  It is then that God will become more and we less (John 3:30).

Joy belongs to the poor in spirit who know they are nothing without God, living lives of surrender, trust, and obedience.  They will be rewarded with eternal life in the Kingdom Of Heaven.

Let’s Get Practical:

Application: Prayerfully we have to ask the Holy Spirit to minister to us and show us if we have left our first love, do we rather rely on ourselves than trust God, and if we have repented of it.  (Revelation 2:1-7)

Promise: When we are poor in spirit and place our trust in Him, He will hear when we cry out in trouble and save us (Psalm 34:6), He will raise us up from our distress and make our families like flocks (Psalm 107:41).

Prayer points:  Ask God that He will increase, and you will decrease (John 3:30), and to teach you how to be poor in spirit, be obedient to Him, trust Him, and lay down your own selfish nature and desires.

Additional readingMatthew 4:17-22; Revelation 2:1-7 & Revelation 3:17-18

My article The Beatitudes Bible Study will explain to you the reason to study the Beatitudes from Matthew 5 and how this will benefit you as a child of God. 

It is my sincere prayer that you were blessed by this article.

Please share it on social media to equip others with these truths spoken by Jesus.

If there is anything you would add to this article, please tell us in the comments below.

Everything in Him, unto Him, and to glorify His Holy Name!


This article was proofread by Grammarly

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Published by Tabitha

Gerda van Breda Daughter of the King of kings! Wife to Jacques, Mother to Marisa, Anne-Marie & Izak, and my sons-in-law Jacques & Seth. Grandmother to my two adorable grandsons Leo & Liam. Also mother to my four furry four-legged children. Kingdom Blogger - Online Missionary & Disciple Maker - Creator & Designer of Prayer & Bible Study Resources - Write under the pseudonym Tabith Blogs. I'm passionate about the things of the Kingdom Of God and my family, I also have many hobbies of which crochet is my favorite as it relaxes me.

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