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God’s Word for You

Luke 6:20 Blessed are the poor

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Monday, January 8, 2018

We are returning to Jesus preaching a sermon:

20 He lifted up his eyes to his disciples and said:
    “Blessed are you who are poor,
    because yours is the kingdom of God.

It will be good for us to remember that Jesus spoke this “to his disciples.” That will help us answer certain questions. For example, in this opening blessing, he tells his listeners that they who are poor have the kingdom of God. Does that mean that through poverty, you and I might achieve the kingdom of God? No. It means that these people—his disciples—though poor, have a treasure that it far more valuable than anything worldly riches could ever offer. “What does man gain,” Solomon asked, “from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:3). The answer is: nothing, if he doesn’t know Christ; if he doesn’t have forgiveness and faith in his Savior. Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a rich man whose ways are perverse (Proverbs 28:6). Better a poor man with faith than a rich man, a genius, or a celebrity with a foot already in hell.

The “poor man” here could be financially poor; a man with no wealth. But the word ptochos (πτωχος) “poor” can also mean “weak and miserable” (Galatians 4:9). Isaiah said, “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and who trembles at my word” (Isaiah 66:2). When we admit our sins, and let go of our pride and our sense of being entitled about everything, and when we ask God, simply, humbly, honestly, to forgive us, then we understand just how dishonest we’ve been about our sins. When we’re open with God in our prayers about the wretchedness of our guilt, we know just how far our Savior had to come to scoop us out of the cesspool and the stink of our failures. But he did it. He came down with real, human flesh, and grabbed us out of the jaws of hell and brought us safely home. We are blessed, because we have the kingdom of heaven—the gift of eternal life.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

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