Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Blessed are the Meek

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Matthew 5:5 ASV

God blesses those who are gentle and lowly, for the whole earth will belong to them.
Matthew 5:5 NLT

Can you think of many other passages in the Bible that are so counter to today's culture? I certainly cannot.

This was the text for our Bible Study last Sunday morning. And it engendered a great deal of discussion in the class. And that was a god thing since I was teaching that morning!

But this passage, perhaps more than any other passage in the Bible, clearly demonstrates the difference between what man esteems and what God esteems. So many times we, as humans, place value in and look up to the conquering heroes of history. Men like Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Gen. Patton and others are put on a pedestal by the writers of history.

There is even a part of us that, although we abhor the motivation and the inhumaneness of their actions, is somehow intrigued by men of power like Adolph Hitler or Saddam Hussein. These men were driven by blind (and sometimes mad) ambition to conquer the world. They did not let anyone stand in their way. Even their own people!

And the concept of meekness was somewhat foreign to the people of Jesus time. In fact, the Jews were looking for a Messiah who was a conquering hero to ride into their midst and help them to overthrow the evil Roman pagans. But Jesus spouts off with some nonsense like the "meek inheriting the earth." Who could believe or even understand that kind of talking?

So, Jesus himself says that He himself is the model of meekness. Matthew 11:28-30 says:
Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.

Zechariah prophesied about this same Jesus when he said in Chapter 9, verse 9:
Rejoice greatly, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey-even on a donkey's colt.

The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 2:5-11 (ASV):
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

And Peter says in II Peter 2:21-23 (ASV):
For hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously:

So what does this mean to me?

It means that I am to follow Jesus Christ's example in a way that is absolutely opposite to how the world says to live. Paul knew that when he wrote to the church at Ephesus.
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Ephesians 4:1-2

He wrote something similar to the church at Colosse.
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Colossians 3:12

He had similar advice to his young helper,Timothy, his son in the faith and partner in ministry.
But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
I Timothy 6:11

To Titus, another son in the faith he wrote to encourage with these words:
To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, [but] gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
Titus 3:2

What does meekness look like?
  • The man who is meek is not proud of himself. Instead he glorifies God the Father.
  • The man who is meek is not arrogant and demanding. Instead he is gentle and kind.
  • The man who is meek doesn't assert himself, or demand his rights. Instead he has a servant's heart.
  • The man who is meek is not sensitive about himself. Instead he is sensitive about the needs of others.
  • The man who is meek is not always on the defensive. Instead he is confident that God will watch over him.
  • The man who is meek never pities himself or feels sorry for himself. Instead he is conscious of God's grace and mercy that has been applied in his life.
  • The man who is meek realizes that he has so much more than he could ever possibly deserve!
Needless to say, the Bible Study session last Sunday was a real "gut check" for me. How about you?


  1. scott6:39 AM

    Being meek is a difficult "gut check". Especially in the work environment. Good post Kevin and sorry I missed this weeks class, but someone had to watch all those 2-3 year olds!

    (next time I am drafting you, lol)

    hope you have a safe trip and feel Gods sustention through this time.


  2. Scott9:30 PM

    Micah 6:8
    He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness , And to walk humbly with your God?

    To love kindness, I think that fits well into meekness as well.


  3. You wrote, ”Can you think of many other passages in the Bible that are so counter to today's culture?”

    You make a fantastic point that I think has a lot to do with holiness! It are these kinds of characteristics, like the fruit of the Spirit that are the way we are to be counter culture in the world!. These are the ways we need to be “set apart”, not by the legalistic surface ways that so many modern holiness people seem to fall into. Abstaining from drinking, and not dancing doesn’t really set you apart the way that Christ calls us to. I am not saying that we have complete carte blanche and we can live our lives free from discernment, but being set apart from our culture means being things like meek in the the context of living in our culture rather than just boycotting it.

    Thanks for your post,