Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5
In Jesus previous statements he was describing our personal recognition of our circumstances. Now Jesus switches gears and he starts talking about our outward posture and expression. He is calling us to live a certain kind of way. He is calling us to be meek.
When I hear the word meek it doesn’t sit very well with me… I makes me think of someone that is weak, that has no backbone, that doesn’t stand for anything, that crumbles under pressure, someone that has no courage, a very whiney person.
But meek doesn’t mean that you are weak. A better way of thinking about meek is strength under control. Think of a dad wrestling with his kids. The dad could end it; he could just knock a kid out and end it right there. But instead he uses his strength for the benefit of his kids. That’s meekness. That’s strength under control.
When Jesus says the meek will inherit the earth, the people listening were thinking about the ground under their feet. Because that ground had been taken from them. The promise land had been taken from them by the Romans. Jesus is reminding them that the land under their feet was given to them; they inherited it. God literally knocked down walls to give it to them. And when he restores it in the future it will be the meek that will inherit it.
There’s no need to fight for what is already yours. Jesus is trying to get across that everything in the world is already God’s, and as adopted sons and daughters we are heirs (Galatians 4:4-7). There’s no need to fight for what is already ours.
If you think about it, Jesus is the ultimate example of meek. He is the ultimate example of strength under control.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped (meaning to be leveraged) to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5-8
In other words, what Paul is saying here is that Jesus didn’t use his strength against people, but rather he used it for people. That’s the definition of meekness.
Peter, one of Jesus’ most famous and temperamental disciples, witnessed Jesus in perhaps his most meek moment. On the night that Jesus was arrested in The Garden of Gethsemane, a group of soldiers came up to arrest Jesus. Peter, being bold and a little bullheaded, took out his sword and took a shot at a soldier. He missed and lobbed a dudes ear off. In that moment Jesus looks at Peter and says this…
“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? Matthew 26:52-53
Jesus has stopped storms and healed the sick. He has cast out demons and restored the outcasts. He has all power in heaven and on earth. Yet in this moment he is restraining his power. In this moment he is holding back. In this moment he is meek. But listen, Jesus is most definitely not weak. He is the definition of strength under control.
This what Jesus is calling us to today. He is calling us to have our strength under control. He’s calling us to leverage our strength for the benefit of others. He’s calling us to not throw our weight around to get what we deserve. Why should we? We are already heirs to the throne of God; what else do we need?
Are you meek? Are you using your strength to build others up? Do you fight for your spouse or against them? With your relationships, are you leveraging your strength to benefit them? Do you look for people you can help or people that can give you something you want?
Maybe some of you need to make a phone call and apologize for how you’ve used your strength in the past. Maybe some of you need to take steps to be selfless instead of selfish. Maybe some of you need to start leveraging your strength for others. Being meek is countercultural, but Jesus says that’s the way that life really works. This is the way to the good life.
Read the previous article in the Series: Blessed Are Those Who Mourn
Read the next article in the Series: Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst