The Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5:3,6

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Sea of Galilee from the northwest


Our LORD and Saviour, JESUS CHRIST, said in His sermon on the mount: Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. … Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”   ~ Matthew 5:3, 6

John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. ~ John 6:35

We Christians are more or less familiar with these declarations of blessedness, but the chances are that most of us do not know what these beatitudes really mean to our lives.

What is “poverty of spirit“? Do not allow worldly explanations to rob you of that which God’s Word is saying to you! Our LORD is not saying that weakness is preferable to manliness. “Poor in spirit” is not the opposite to “high-spirited”. Rather, to be “poor in spirit” is opposite to being of “a proud spirit.”

The natural man is bent on trying to save face; to hide his weaknesses and short-comings. But when one is responding to God’s will for his life, he is trusting the resources of heaven to be the strength and victory that God has purposed for his life.

Spiritual health is only available to the mendicant spirit: “Blessed are the poor in spirit. … And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”  ~ John 14:13

This then is the blessedness of “the poor in spirit;” and this is the blessedness of “hungering and thirsting after righteousness.”

My recognized poverty makes me ready to receive the true treasures of the kingdom of God.

Would you know the blessed life? Come to the LORD in the way the precious old hymn puts it: “Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on thee.”

This “blessedness” that promises heaven’s response means for every believer the blessedness of belonging to the kingdom of heaven, and being filled with true righteousness.

The Bible shares with us a letter “postmarked heaven,” in which the reigning LORD counsels a self-righteous, self-sufficient, self-congratulating church, to  “… buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” ~ Revelation 3:18-19

We have looked at two of our LORD’S blessed as declarations. The other seven have the same heavenly emphasis For “… God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:  That no flesh should glory in his presence.  But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:  That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. ” ~ 1 Corinthians 1:27 -31 

I hear Thy welcome voice
That calls me, Lord, to Thee,
For cleansing in Thy precious blood
That flowed on Calvary.

Though coming weak and vile,
Thou dost my strength assure;
Thou dost my vileness fully cleanse,
Till spotless all, and pure.

’Tis Jesus calls me on
To perfect faith and love,
To perfect hope and peace and trust,
For earth and Heav’n above.

( vs 1-3 from “I Hear Thy Welcome Voice” Words & Music: Lewis Hart­sough, 1872)


by Dr. R. B. Keyes

Adapted from the transcripts written and read by Dr. R. B. Keyes on a radio program called “Morning Chapel” (



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