How God Sees Things: Ptochos

In the Sermon On The Mount, Jesus outlines a radically different way of thinking about life:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3

Poor in spirit.

The Greek language, in which the New Testament was originally written, has two different words that Jesus could have chosen to speak of someone being poor. The first word suggests someone who lives just below the poverty line, who is always having to scrimp and scrape to survive, who somehow makes ends meet, but just barely. That’s not the word Jesus chose. He used the word ptochos, which means beggar. A person who is utterly, absolutely destitute and who has no hope of surviving unless someone reaches out a hand and pulls him up.

Blessed are the beggars, Jesus said. The broken ones, those who recognize that they are spiritually destitute and bankrupt, who know they have no chance of survival apart from God’s intervening mercy and grace. In response to their desperate need, He lavishes them with the riches of His kingdom.

You and I will never meet God in revival and experience the fullness of His blessing in our lives until we first meet Him in brokenness, acknowledging our spiritual poverty – that we have nothing and are nothing apart from Him.

This is going to require humility.

Adapted from The Quiet Place, a devotional by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

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