The good news of Jesus was just the news of the thoughts and ways of the Father in the midst of his family. He told them that the way men thought for themselves and their children was not the way God thought for himself and his children ; that the kingdom of heaven was founded, and must at length show itself founded on very different principles from those of the kingdoms and families of the world, meaning by the world that part of the Father's family which will not be ordered by him, will not even try to obey him. The world's man, its great, its successful, its honourable man, is he who may have and do what he pleases, whose strength lies in money and the praise of men ; the greatest in the kingdom of heaven is the man who is humblest and serves his fellows the most. Multitudes of men, in no degree notable as ambitious or proud, hold the ambitious, the proud man in honour, and, for all deliverance, hope after some shadow of his prosperity. How many even of those who look for the world to come, seek to the powers of this world for deliverance from its evils, as if God were the God of the world to come only! The oppressed of the Lord's time looked for a Messiah to set their nation free, and make it rich and strong; the oppressed of our time believe in money, knowledge, and the will of a people which needs but power to be in its turn the oppressor. The first words of the Lord on this occasion were:— 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'
(George Macdonald, Hope of the Gospel p. 82)