Blessed are the Meek

Jesus said it is the meek who will inherit the earth. But most of us have the wrong idea of what being meek actually means.

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

18 comments on “Blessed are the Meek

  1. brujsims

    Reblogged this on Call to Witness and commented:
    Entitlement prevents us from truly experiencing the inheritance that God has promised to His people. We have been given strength and power from the Lord, but that power was not meant to be used to get what we want because we feel we deserve it. Instead, the power we have been given is to serve and meet the needs of others, just as Christ used His power to minister to His people. We must follow the lead of Christ so that we could experience the inheritance.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. Honestly I am still often more like Peter than Jesus in stressful situations.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Lillie-Put and commented:
    More like Jesus less like Peter.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent post, it was a very good read.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Truth Troubles: Why people hate the truths' of the real world and commented:
    Was Jesus meek when He went to the cross while knowing all the time that He could stop the beatings and the crucifixion at any time. That is strength through caring about others, strength through meekness.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great article – thanks for the imagery.

    Chipping in on this – Numbers 12:3 tells us that Moses was the “meekest man on earth.” Moses had…losses of control. He smashed the tablets, had tantrums, and eventually its was his (arguably) loss of control in Numbers 20:11-13 that costs him: he will not “inherit the earth” (canaan) with the people. I think “strength under control” is a very important and appropriate way to read the word “meek.” Allow me to posit that there may be another way, as well.

    So, many variable are at play here, and it would take significant space to do them justice. But just as a snack-sized bite, consider: Jesus very possibly has Moses in mind in the Sermon on the Mount when he declares, “the meek shall inherit the earth.” What is it about meekness that Scripture claims Moses demonstrated beyond any other human (at by the time of the Deuteronomistic editors), and that Jesus claims is tied directly to inheritance?

    Numbers 14:11-19
    Exodus 32:11-14
    Exodus 32:31-32

    Allow me to put forth another definition: Longsuffering.

    Moses, in almost every opportunity, is just as frustrated, angry, hurt, upset, as anyone else would be. But the stand out move on Moses’ part is to take that experience, and interpret it as a call to prophetic intercession. Moses is moved*, he feels, he even rages. But he directs that energy into intercession, to prayer, to continue to receive the abuses against himself, and the abuses against YHWH as provocations to react – but react in intercession, sometimes intercession just this side of bitterness. Imagine
    *note the “aposiopesis” in Ex 32:32 – moses is so very moved is loses the ability to speak. cf. the garden of Gethsemane Mark 14, Matt 26.

    As a person of God, Moses had given himself completely to the people of God. His meekness was to continue to suffer for that giving of himself. To carry on, despite the incredible cost and burden of his continued intercession. Many times God offers him an “out,” yet, he “suffers long” in his loving, and longing. cf Luke 13:34.

    Meekness may have less to do with the ability to control one’s reaction, and more to do with, if I may stretch the analogy, redirecting the reaction. Rather than “grin and bear it,” or “stoically suffer,” it may be more of “allowing that which requires meekness to be channeled, full force, into the continued expression, however dramatic, of prophetic intercession – the cry of God back to God for that which God most desires.”

    Moses smashing the rock did not invalidate him from the claim of “meekest man on earth.” In that light, Peter’s sword swinging may have had nothing to do with his meekness. But, as Jesus prophesies to Peter, in John 21:15-19, Peter would have a “Mosaic” ending. He would become meek enough to be, like Moses, a shepherd, to suffer in the cause of that Shepherding, and ultimately to share in the sufferings of his Lord, Jesus – just as Moses shared in the frustration and agony of YHWH.

    Just a couple bites over breakfast – thanks for allowing me to chip in. 🙂

    Bless you


    Liked by 2 people

    • Great thoughts! I think you are right that Jesus very well could have been thinking of Moses. I think jew listening also probably thought back to Moses.

      That’s a great thought on redirecting our reaction. Instead of lashing out or just silently suffering, use that opportunity to cry out to God. I think God uses every opportunity to show us our need for Him and get us back to him. I think more then anything God wants us, he wants us in relationship with him more then anything else.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. oops…pardon all the grammatical errors above…this is why I should never type before half a pot of coffee. grace!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I like your manner of showing the difference between weakness and meekness.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Etymology is a love of mine, from my historian background. Meek came from a Scandinavian word (mjūkr) that means gentle, not weak. When I think of that I am reminded of when I was in grade school and we were always warned not to push the quiet ones, they are the ones most likely to explode when pushed too far.

    Good post, I am liking your take on the Beatitudes.


  10. To help get a handle on “meekness”, this testosterone poisoned male relies on the subsequent verse to the effect of “blessed are the peacemakers”. Peace can be “made” by capitulation and surrender. I also reflect on the verse to the effect of “if a man does not have a sword, let him sell his cloak and buy one”. In the context of these verses, my understanding is that power and force are to be reasonably and fairly applied in a way appropriate to situation. Basically, use the least force necessary


  11. Pingback: Blessed Are Those Who Mourn – Rethink

  12. Pingback: Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst – Rethink

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