What does "spiritually poor" mean? With reference
to Luke 4:18, what does poor/weak mean? Is it a spiritual situation?
This is a wonderful question because it describes how we start
with God and the attitude we must have in our ongoing relationship
Beggars In Spirit.
Your first phrase refers to a passage which is found in Matthew
5:3. Here it is,
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom
of heaven. (NASB) Matt. 5:3
In order to understand this verse, we must first understand
the meaning of the Greek word for "poor." Jesus
could have used one of two New Testament Greek words for
poor. They are PTOCHOS and PENAS, but He used PTOCHOS. This
PTOCHOS, means more than just being "poor." To give you
a sense of the rich meaning of the word, I would encourage
you to read Luke 16:19-25. The passage is about Lazarus. He
was a poor man. He was so poor and diseased that he was looking
for crumbs to fall from the rich man's table to the floor.
He did not expect loaves or slices of bread - he was just hoping
for crumbs. That is poor! He had absolutely nothing. In fact,
the best sense of PTOCHOS is "being so poor that the person
is a beggar." The second word for "poor" refers to a person
who at least has something. A PENAS person would have a place
to live, a home, but PTOCHOS implies one who is living in the
streets. Where are you living? Do you see what Jesus is saying?
He is saying that we cannot be happy without seeing ourselves
spiritual beggars. We cannot be happy if we do not see ourselves
as spiritual beggars - out in the streets and spiritually
having nothing. When we honestly believe that we are spiritually
poor, we will come to God for help - for even His crumbs.
We will come for forgiveness of our sins.
is how we come to God. Once one is a Christian, a true Christian
will realize that he or she is still a beggar but God does
not give us crumbs. God invites us to eat at the table with
Him. He does not invite us to eat one meal, but we get to eat
every meal, every day. I would invite you to read the study
Are The Poor."
Gospel To The Poor.
Your second passage reads as follows:
And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him.
And He opened the book, and found the place where it
was written, “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON
ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO
THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE
CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET
FREE THOSE WHO ARE DOWNTRODDEN, TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE
YEAR OF THE LORD.” (NASB) Luke 4:17-19
The word for poor is PTOCHOS again. The meaning is slightly
different because of the context. The passage says that Jesus
came to preach to the PTOCHOS, captives, blind, and to set
free those who are downtrodden. The sense of the passage
is that Jesus came to those who were not the elite in society,
the rich, the famous, or the intellectual. Why? Because these
folks usually do not have any desire for God. They are not
interested. The message of this passage is that Jesus came
for those who were "Beggars in Spirit."
Do you see yourself as a former beggar in spirit who is now
eating at God's feast every day? What a picture. That is
God's goodness and love for us.