5:3Blessed. This means more than the emotional state represented by the word “happy.” It includes spiritual well-being, having the approval of God, and thus a happier destiny (Ps. 1).
poor in spirit. Those with the greater spiritual need are more likely to perceive their need and depend on God alone and not their own goodness. Paul notes the same principle in Rom. 9:30, 31. The parallel in Luke 6:20 omits “in spirit.” This has led many to suppose Jesus primarily spoke of the materially poor. Material poverty and recognition of spiritual need often go together (Ps. 9:18 note), but the two kinds of poverty are not identical.
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