July 22

Disciples Are Poor In Spirit


Disciples Are Poor In Spirit

Are you poor in spirit? You better hope so. If not, you might want to take a hard look at your discipleship.


Jesus taught his disciples to be poor in spirit. In fact, he said they would be blessed as a result. Blessed, as in, living within the Kingdom of Heaven.

Matthew 5:3


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


Perhaps the best was to understand what poor in spirit means is to look at the opposite of being poor in spirit.  The bible uses the terms haughty or haughtiness. Here is what the Bible has to say about haughtiness.


Proverbs 6:16-19 “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: HAUGHTY eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”

Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goes before destruction, And a HAUGHTY spirit before stumbling.”

Proverbs 18:12 “Before destruction the heart of man is HAUGHTY, But humility goes before honor.”

Proverbs 21:4 “Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin.”

There also several references from the prophets. These passages are addressing certain people. Their haughtiness is part of the problem.

Isaiah 10:12 “So it will be that when the Lord has completed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will say, "I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the pomp of his haughtiness."

Jeremiah 48:29 "We have heard of the pride of Moab--he is very proud-- Of his haughtiness, his pride, his arrogance and his self-exaltation.”

Ezekiel 16:49-50 “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it.”

Haughtiness is the attitude of not caring what God says or teaches. Haughtiness does not care for the commands or principles of God. A haughty person sees the teachings, commandments, and principles of God and says, “I don’t care. I am going to do what I want to do regardless of what God instructs.”


A person poor in spirit will see the teachings, commandments, and principles of God and say, “I cannot do otherwise for God instructs.” Discipleship is to hear the teachings of God and adhere to them.

Being poor in spirit is a good thing. It is an indicator of submissiveness to the teachings of Christ. One could say, it is a requirement to being a faithful follower of Jesus Christ.

All Scripture references used in this article are from the NRSV.

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