The heart of a brother, the heart of father, the heart of a friend goes out to those who are afflicted, those who are pitiable, those who have no strength of their own. In this way their weakness is their strength, for it draws the assistance of others. Their weakness is the very quality that makes them strong, for it compels others to rally to their cause, to lend them their abilities, their power, their vigor, their help. Weakness is the secret of their strength.
The Beatitudes of Jesus are meant to shock us in the ways they so consistently counter our instincts and interrupt our inclinations. They commend the meek rather than the assertive; they commend the poor in spirit rather than the self-sufficient; they commend the reproached rather than the praised. The Beatitudes highlight some of the counter-cultural, Spirit-given qualities that God so values in his people.
If Jesus were to add just one more beatitude, perhaps it would be this: Blessed are the weak, for they shall have God’s strength. Though the exact words are not found in Scripture, they communicate a biblical emphasis: those who are weak specially experience the strength of God. For as the Lord said to the Apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” And as Paul declared, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. … For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).