The Gospel of Matthew

This devotional is written by Tina Van Tricht. I joined St Mary's online during lockdown. Mum of Isla and Gen. Mad about horses!

Matthew 5:1-12

Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount

 5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes He said:

3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


The Beatitudes list how many ways we can be blessed by God. It seems a very familiar New Testament passage but I am struck by the first one: 'Blessed are the poor...'

Firstly, I see the passage in the context of being on a hill top so that the maximum number of people crowding around there could hear what Jesus had to say. He was swamped by Jewish people wanting to listen to him. Many may have been faithful Jews following Jewish laws and teaching yet they recognised that there was something new to learn. That is where the first beatitude leaps out at me "Happy are those who are spiritually poor", especially the word "spiritually". This makes all the difference to me.

Jesus is blessing all those people in the crowd who came to learn and who acknowledged that they needed to know more than the Jewish law.

It applies to me. I have just finished the Life Course and realised that I am "spiritually poor". I need to learn more about God through Jesus and the scriptures.

Irrespective of whether we are wealthy or poor, if we acknowledge we are spiritually poor and search to know more about God and Jesus, we certainly receive a blessing.

Or look at it another way; some Bibles talk of the "poor in spirit". Could that be the same as being "dispirited"? I am sure many people are "down" because of the current Covid 19 climate, so this verse could be God's encouragement to us telling us that we are blessed in the midst of this.

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