Jesus looked at his followers and said,
“You people who are poor are blessed,
because the kingdom of God belongs to you”.
Luke 6:20, NCV
It is an astonishing thing, to have Jesus look at you.
His steady, focused gaze is transformational, He sees me, and in this huge mass of people Jesus has picked me! It’s like He takes His ‘spiritual highlighter’ and sets me apart from everyone else. Amazing grace!
But this really isn’t arrogance, or even wishful thinking. We’ve been selected to be the special ones, not so much in an elite way, but in a way that glorifies only Him. Scripture emphasizes this by stating ‘the weak are chosen’. As I stood in this teeming crowd, I was surrounded by some very attractive and muscular people. They preened and postured, but that wasn’t what He was looking for. When He saw me, He stopped, and then He picked me out of the crowd.
Those who have been ‘chosen’ are definitely not superhero material. We are the weak, and blind, and very foolish. There is ‘zero attractiveness’. In the classroom, we are the nerdiest of nerds. (We are nerdisimos.) In the spirit, we have a ‘less than zero’ rating. In a sense, we’re not even remotely ‘the right stuff’, we are so pathetic.
Every once in a while, we find someone that seems to have figured out how to put it together. Then often we go ahead and put our ‘mark’ on that person and then become loyal followers. But if we extend ourselves to hear the Spirit (who by the way, is very easily heard) we find that our choice is a Saul, and not a David. In other words, he is very close but is disqualified.
We are Christians because Jesus chose us. We come into His presence because He left the doors open for us to squeeze in. We enter in because Jesus has been ‘bled out’ for us. Everything was drained when He died. He stepped into our ‘nightmare’ to allow us to escape into the light. Without His presence, we would decay into a dark and perpetual night.
And now He stands directly in front of us. He looks (it seems He is always looking) and says something to us that is strange. ‘Those who are poor will become those who are very, very ‘blessed’. Quite strange and bizarre. Like the guy sitting on mass transit right next to you, who is talking to himself! He simply doesn’t mesh with what is real. He has lost touch with reality.
The kingdom is up for grabs! Anyone can snatch it and bring home something substantial. Poor people, those who are at the level ‘of very little account’ have been moved ahead in the line, right up to the front. Suddenly, those in the back become envious. This envy becomes jealousy and then rebellion. But it changes nothing.
The ‘poor in spirit’ have just inherited the Kingdom of God. It has become theirs and it won’t be something that can be overturned. The ‘ultimate’ has become fully available to the ‘least’. Those out there who are starving, will be those who get the most.