And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be you poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
1. The first is this, that God loves to honour those that are willing to debase themselves.
2. That blessedness doth not consist in any worldly thing — " Blessed are the poor." There in nothing in this world can make them blessed; it is the kingdom of heaven that must make them blessed. If you would be happy, you must look beyond the world.
3. In that it is said in the present tense, theirs is the kingdom of heaven. From whence the note is this, that the saints of God live not only upon comforts that they shall have hereafter, upon the assurance of what they shall have, but upon present comforts. They have enough for the present to uphold their hearts, in all their poor and mean condition in which they are in respect of the world.
4. That heaven is now to the saints. There is comfort indeed! There is certainly no man or woman upon the earth shall ever go to heaven but such as hath heaven come down to them. First: To open to you what is the meaning of this; what doth Christ mean by the kingdom of heaven? And then, secondly, to apply the kingdom of heaven to such as are poor in spirit.
I. THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. There is the kingdom of God's power whereby He rules over the world; and then there is the kingdom that He hath given to His Son the Mediator. It is the second kingdom that is here meant. When God had made this world, He Himself reigned over it, and was the King of it. But the world that He made was spoiled with sin, and so God could not have that glory from the world that He made it for. Therefore, the Lord He was pleased to erect a new world, another spiritual, heavenly world, to glorify Himself in in another manner, more spiritual and heavenly than in the former world; and He makes His Son to be the King of that spiritual world — that new world which the Scripture speaks of when it saith, " All old things are done away, and all things are become new" — which new world is begun in the work of grace in the hearts of the saints, and so carried on till it comes to eternal glory. Jesus Christ, He is the King of that world. Why is it called the kingdom of heaven?
1. It is called the kingdom of heaven because Christ is from heaven, who is the King thereof.
2. In distinction and opposition from or unto the kingdoms of the world.
3. Because that Christ His seat is now at the present in heaven.
4. Because that the way of His government it is spiritual and heavenly, not in an outward way.
5. Because it will certainly bring both soul and body to heaven at last.There is infinite blessedness in this kingdom of heaven.
1. For it is Christ the Mediator that gives the laws. But in this kingdom of heaven, that is a blessedness that thou hast a law from Him that loves thee more than His life; He was willing to lay down His life for thee that gives thee thy law.
2. The second thing in the blessedness of this kingdom of heaven is this, that Jesus Christ He now rules in the hearts of His saints, by His word and Spirit, a great deal more fully than He did in the times of the law, or in any way can be conceived.
3. All transactions between God and them are in this kingdom, and not to go out of this kingdom. So now, wert thou in the kingdom of God's power, as He is Creator of heaven and earth, and so rules the world, certainly any offence of thine would be eternal death to thee; and it is so with all those men and women that are, I say, only under the kingdom of God's power — that is, they are God's creatures, and God is their Creator, and so they have to deal with God as under the kingdom of His power; if they offend as creatures, God in that kingdom deals in a way of exact justice, so as to punish with death upon every offence. But now a believer brought into another kingdom, the kingdom of the Messiah, there he comes to have other privileges; so that when a believer offends he doth not go to answer in that court of His — to wit, the kingdom of His power — but he is to answer before the court of Jesus Christ, and Christ is to be the judge, and Christ He is to deal with them in that administration of His that He hath received from the loather, and so comes a believer to stand with comfort before God, notwithstanding all his offences and weaknesses, for the transaction is between God and Him within this kingdom, and not without it.
4. And then, further, from hence thou hast protection. Though thou beest poor and mean in thyself, thou hast Jesus Christ the Son of God that undertakes to protect thee, to deliver thee from evil, and to supply thee in all thy wants; that is the work of a king.
5. In this kingdom Christ undertakes to subdue all the enemies that are against thy spiritual and eternal good.
6. He, as a king, gives ordinances and gifts and administrations. All the ordinances, gifts, and administrations of the Church, they are given by Jesus Christ as the King of it, and thou that art poor in spirit, thou has right to them.
7. All the world is brought into subjection to this kingdom.
8. For this will bring thee at length to reign with Christ.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
WEB: He lifted up his eyes to his disciples, and said, "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.