“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” – Matthew 5:3
LIGHT FOR NOW: When a text of scripture is wrongly interpreted, a vital truth is lost.
One of the essential rules of Bible interpretation is to let the bible speak for itself. In other words, we do not superimpose our thoughts or opinions into the scriptures but we allow the scripture to explain itself. That is why Bible interpretation must not be an innovation, rather it must be an excavation. We are to excavate from what is already written and not to innovate into what has been written. The above text which was Jesus’ teaching on the beatitude (which was a mode of communication by Jesus) has been misinterpreted and given meanings based on assumptions by many folks, hence the need for the short bible interpretation principles stated in the above. Many have interpreted ‘the poor in spirit’ as those who are meek in spirit; and they make that text to imply that it is the meek in spirit that will make it in the kingdom of heaven. Some believe that ‘the poor in spirit’ are those who are spiritually humble (that is the humble in the spirit) and then they imply that it is only those who are humble in the spirit that will be in the kingdom of heaven. The saddening amongst all is that even some interpret the ‘poor’ in this text to mean literal poverty. Obviously, to interpret the ‘poor ‘ in this text to mean literal poverty will definitely be out of place because the text qualifies the poverty being referred to as ‘poor in spirit’. Hence, the ‘poor in the spirit’ will not be a literal communication but a spiritual fact or communication that must carefully be explained.
Thus, first, the poverty being implied here will not be the absence of money. If it will be the absence of anything, then it will be the absence of the Spirit (because he qualifies or explains it as poor in the spirit). Now, to understand this text above, three important terms must be carefully examined and these terms are ‘poor in the spirit’, ‘for’ and the kingdom of heaven. First, let’s examine the word, ‘poor’. The word, ‘poor was translated from the Greek word ‘ptochos’. This word implies destitute, worthless and helpless. Thus, the term, ‘poor in spirit’ is to describe those who are worthless/helpless in the spirit or who are destitute of the spirit. In other words, people who are ‘poor in the spirit’ are those who lack the spirit (without any exegeses, this will be the Holy Spirit; the Spirit of the Son; the Spirit of God or the Spirit of Christ). Thus, those who are poor in the spirit are those who are destitute of God’s Spirit or lack God’s Spirit. This obviously cannot be the believer because the believer is indwelt by God’s spirit and thus ‘the poor in the spirit’ cannot be referring to the believer in Christ who has been indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!!!
INSTRUCTION: Don’t always say anything that is popular; always allow the Bible to explain itself.
PRAYER: I declare that the eyes of my understanding is enlightened, in Jesus name, Amen.
QUOTE: Your declaration as a believer will be influenced by your understanding of the scriptures.
DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: EZEKIEL CHAPTER 35; EVENING: JOHN CHAPTER 14