How many times have you walked by someone who was down and out? Maybe they were dirty and living on the streets or so destitute they looked different than you. When the angel appeared the shepherds in the field the night of Christ’s birth, it was God’s way of showing that He came for those poor in spirit.
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.
At the Bottom
Shepherds were looked down upon in the Jewish community. They were dirty from their work, gone a long time, and always ceremonially unclean so that they couldn’t worship at the temple. Any good and respectable Jew would hire a shepherd to watch their sheep. So the fact that God revealed His glory to them out in the fields and bot peculiar and powerful. Peculiar because they were so low on the social totem pole, but powerful in that God shows He comes to those who are poor in spirit.
In a world where wealth and influence are everything, God shows us that He came for the down and out. He doesn’t turn His nose up at anyone society would look at as undesirable. Those are the ones for which Jesus came. He told His disciples that a doctor does come for the healthy, but for those who are sick. Jesus came for those who society rejects, but here is the catch. You can’t receive Him unless you are poor in spirit.
Poor in Spirit
The Pharisees thought they were better than everyone else because of what they did. Jesus looked at them as self-righteous. They missed the Kingdom of God because they were impressed with themselves. Only those who understand they need a savior will have a heart open for Jesus to enter. The poor in spirit look at themselves for who they are, sinners in need of grace.