The really blessed

The Exhortation to the Apostles, by James Tissot, portrays Jesus talking to his 12 disciples

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:3.

What kind of people are designated here as “the poor in spirit”? Are they people with limited mental powers, the “simple minded”? Not at all! They are people who do not seek the answers to life’s great problems in themselves, but have recognized that God alone can give the answers. The measure of our mental powers is not decisive in this matter. A great scientist or a profound thinker who has remained humble before God is more likely to be reckoned among such than a simple minded person whose own thoughts about God mean more to him than the Word of God. It is the attitude of heart that counts.

The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified,” although he was shortly to add, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of men the things which God has prepared for those who love him. But God has revealed them to us through his Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:2.9.10)

Paul’s spiritual knowledge was practically beyond compare, but he did not approach others trusting in his own knowledge. He wished to draw attention exclusively to Jesus Christ. It was only because of Paul made nothing of himself that God could work through the apostle so effectively. Let us not be led astray by scoffers who believe they have to smile sympathetically about the “poor” who are wise enough to realize that their own intelligence is insignificant. The verse: “Professing to be wise, they became fools” applies to such scoffers (Romans 1:22).

Image: By James Tissot – Online Collection of Brooklyn Museum; Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2007, 00.159.129_PS2.jpg, Public Domain,