Read & Study the Bible Online - Bible Portal

Verse 3

Matthew 5:3. Blessed are the poor in spirit The word μακαριοι , here rendered blessed, properly means happy, and it may be better to translate it so, because our Lord seems to intimate by it, not only that the dispositions here recommended are the way to future blessedness, but that they immediately confer the truest and most noble felicity. As happiness was the great end to which the wisest philosophers undertook to conduct their hearers, and as it is our common aim, and an object to the pursuit of which we are continually urged by an innate instinct, our Lord, whose great business in coming into the world was, to make mankind happy by making them holy, wisely and graciously begins his divine institution, which is the complete art of happiness, by pointing out the necessary connexion it has with holiness, and inciting to the latter by motives drawn from the former. In doing this we cannot but observe his benevolent condescension. He seems, as it were, to lay aside his supreme authority as our legislator, that he may the better act the part of our friend and Saviour. Instead of using the lofty style in positive commands, he, in a more gentle and engaging way, insinuates his will and our duty by pronouncing those happy who comply with it. And, in order to render his hearers more attentive, he proposes his doctrine in certain paradoxical dogmas, which, at first sight, may seem false to such as judge by appearance, but which, when attentively considered, are found to be most true. Indeed, as an old writer remarks, “All the beatitudes are affixed to unlikely conditions, to show that the judgment of the word and of the world are contrary.” By this expression, the poor in spirit, Grotius and Baxter understand those who bear a state of poverty and want with a disposition of quiet and cheerful submission to the divine will; and Mr. Mede interprets it of those who are ready to part with their possessions for charitable uses. But it seems much more probable that the truly humble are intended, or those who are sensible of their spiritual poverty, of their ignorance and sinfulness, their guilt, depravity, and weakness, their frailty and mortality; and who, therefore, whatever their outward situation in life may be, however affluent and exalted, think meanly of themselves, and neither desire the praise of men, nor covet high things in the world, but are content with the lot God assigns them, however low and poor. These are happy, because their humility renders them teachable, submissive, resigned, patient, contented, and cheerful in all estates; and it enables them to receive prosperity or adversity, health or sickness, ease or pain, life or death, with an equal mind. Whatever is allotted them short of those everlasting burnings which they see they have merited, they consider as a grace or favour. They are happy, because theirs is the kingdom of heaven The present, inward kingdom, righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, as well as the eternal kingdom, if they endure to the end. The knowledge which they have of themselves, and their humiliation of soul before God, prepare them for the reception of Christ, to dwell and reign in their hearts, and all the other blessings of the gospel; the blessings both of grace and glory. For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place: with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Isaiah 57:15; Isaiah 66:2. And those in whom God dwells here shall dwell with him hereafter.

Be the first to react on this!

Scroll to Top

Group of Brands