Empty yet Full
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:3
“In the first sermon Jesus preached, he said that the best candidates to receive all that God has for his children are those who are poor in spirit. This is counterintuitive, since our society considers that it is the rich and not the poor who are to be envied. Consider also that the word for ‘poor’ in the original Greek text means not having anything at all. This is a deep principle of spiritual life as a Christian; because if you have nothing, then you have to look to God for everything. And God will fulfill every good desire he has for you. This principle is capped off in the parable of the vine and the branches. Jesus said, ‘I am the vine, and you are the branches. You have to remain in me, or you can do nothing.’ A branch has to remain connected to the main stalk of the plant and empty of debris and other extraneous matter in order to have flowing through it the life-giving sap of the plant that will enable it to grow and bear fruit. In the same way, the believer has to remain in Christ, empty of every hindrance and their own plans and desires, in order to have flowing through them the Spirit’s life-giving power and blessings from above. That is the joy of being an empty vessel for God to fill with his peace and joy and the abundant life he has promised to every born-again Christian.” – Pastor Cymbala
- According to Jesus, who are the best candidates to receive all that God has for his children? Why is this counterintuitive?
- What does the word for “poor” mean in the original Greek text of the verse? Why is this significant?
- What is the blessing of being poor in spirit?
- Read the parable of the vine and the branches in John 15:1-8 and describe in your own words the spiritual lesson that it provides for us.
- Explain how you are able to be empty yet full as a Christian.