Welcome to week four of my series on The Beatitudes.

The Sermon on the Mount teachings are a demonstration of what we should be living as Christ followers.   Jesus set the tone early on in His ministry regarding what He was about and what it meant to be His disciple and have a Kingdom mindset. These teachings are the foundation for what Jesus modeled and would be doing for the next three years of His earthly ministry, and what He longs for us His followers to do as well.

The Beatitudes are the good news of the Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus preached for the here and now and also for the Kingdom to come.   I look forward to diving in deeper to each one of the 8 Beatitudes in the weeks to come.

 


 

Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5 NIV).

 

 

Have you ever heard someone say that Christians are wimps?  That they have no backbone, are weak and vulnerable and are doormats for everyone to walk on?

There are those in the world who think meek people are doormats, and that being meek is somehow associated with someone who is passive and doesn’t do anything to take a stand.  Meekness has also been defined as unassuming, unpretentious, easily managed, or handled.

 

Maybe you have bought into what our culture has taught?

  • “It’s a dog eat dog world”

  • “It’s every man, woman and child for themselves.”

  • We have to look out for ourselves and take care of ‘ole number one because no one else will.

Society has taught us that being meek isn’t a good thing. We’ve been taught that those who are meek are weak and are no good to anyone.  Our modern-day culture has taught us that to be meek means to not just be weak, but to be vulnerable, timid, quiet and unresisting or a victim.

In light of what our world teaches, let’s be honest. Do you like the idea of being meek?

 

Does Jesus really want His disciples to be vulnerable, victims, weak and timid?

 

No, of course not!  Can’t you just hear the Holy laughter from Heaven?

 

We need to recognize that the Kingdom of God often runs counter to the culture of our world and its standards.  Jesus taught that to be the greatest you must become the least. (Matt 23:11)  When Jesus said “blessed are the meek” he was not saying, blessed are the weak, timid, vulnerable… etc.

 

In order for us to fully understand, accept and embrace what Jesus was talking about, we need to fully understand the definition of meek and what it meant here in the original language.

 

According to the dictionary meek means: quiet, docile, gentle, spiritless, and easily imposed on; submissive.

These words the dictionary uses to describe meek are not all bad, but the world does look at a person who is “meek” as having a character flaw or deficiency and therefore an easy target.

However, the word “meek” in the Greek, is translated praeis and refers to: mildness, gentleness of spirit, or humility.

 

Therefore, when Jesus was saying the meek will inherit the earth, He was really saying those who walk in humility and gentleness of spirit will inherit the earth.  As we read further in Scripture, Paul pleads with us to:

 … walk holy, in a way that is suitable to your high rank, given to you in your divine calling. With tender humility and quiet patience, always demonstrate gentleness and generous love toward one another, especially toward those who may try your patience (Ephesians 4:1-2 The Passion Translation).

In the Old Testament story found in Numbers 12:1-9, we see a good example of what it means to walk in meekness/humility and what it means to be filled with pride and self-importance.

 

In these Scriptures we see Miriam and Aaron begin to talk against and bad mouth Moses.

 

Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the Lord heard this.

(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)

At once the Lord said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them went out. Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them stepped forward, he said, “Listen to my words:

“When there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions,
I speak to them in dreams.
 But this is not true of my servant Moses;
he is faithful in all my house.
 With him I speak face to face,
clearly and not in riddles;
he sees the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid
to speak against my servant Moses?”

 The anger of the Lord burned against them, and he left them.

 

John Piper says:

Meekness is the power to absorb adversity and criticism without lashing back.

“…Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3 ESV)

Moses was considered a meek and humble man. He did not have a “me first” attitude, instead he had an “others first” mentality. He didn’t lash back or criticize his brother and sister, instead the Lord took care of that.

Upon further study of this word “meek” in the original language, there are few interesting things:

praeis means more than “meek.” Biblical meekness is not weakness but rather refers to exercising God’s strength under His control– i.e. demonstrating power without undue harshness.[1]

 But the meek will inherit the land
    and enjoy peace and prosperity. (Psalms 37:11)

Here in Psalm 37, we see almost the same exact words Jesus spoke in Matthew 5:5. Having an attitude of meekness would not have been a new thing to the disciples and those listening to Jesus that day. In the original language which Jesus would have been speaking “meekness” meant to walk in humility and have submitted strength.  Submitted strength simply means to allow God control over and in our lives.

 

 

 

When we walk in Biblical meekness we are saying: “Jesus take the wheel” of my life. I trust You to order my steps to go where you need me to go.  Biblical meekness is about letting go of the “I want it my way” mentality and being obedient to God whether He says stop, no, or go.

 

A.W. Tozer says it this way:

 

“Being meek means a person has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels. In himself, nothing; in God, everything.”

 

 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.” (Matthew 5:5 MSG).

Being content, just as we are, no matter what.  That is when our soul can sing these famous words:

 

 “Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well, It is well, with my soul.” – – Horatio Spafford

 

[1] http://biblehub.com/greek/4239.htm

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