Read Matthew 5:3
3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. (NLT)
There are all sorts of poverty. The poverty of not having a roof over your head; the poverty of not having enough to eat; the poverty of not being able to access justice; the poverty of not getting an education.
And there is the poverty of realising just how badly you fall short of the righteousness of God; the poverty of realising how much mercy you need; the poverty of recognising that all the wealth in the world cannot guarantee happiness now or bliss forever.
This is why it is a mistake to have a narrow view of poverty. Jesus says that all those who are genuinely poor and needy are blessed as they turn to him. The gospel is not just about saving ‘souls’; it is about restoring broken people to wholeness. And the gospel is not just about reforming the socio-economic situation in places where it is needed. It is about bringing people back to their Maker.
The ‘poor’ flocked to Jesus. The wealthy-poor like Zacchaeus and the materially-poor like the destitute widow. The common denominator was their recognition of their need for him,not the amount of wealth they had. Though Jesus rightly comments that the more wealth we have the more likely we are to ignore our need of him.
If we don’t have friendship with God we are poor beyond description. If we do have such friendship we are rich beyond imagining.