Blessed are the Meek: Why does it matter in the end?

Blessed are the Meek: Why does it matter in the end? [TRANSCRIPT]

In Luke 14:11 Jesus said,
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
 
The Scriptures in Philippians 2:3-5 says,
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

In James 4:6 we hear this,
But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

Again, the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:17-18:
But HE WHO BOASTS IS TO BOAST IN THE LORD. For it is not he who commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends.

And in 2 Timothy 2:11-12a it says this,
It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him;

And then in Matthew 5:5 Jesus declares,
Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

How is it that living in a world that boasts of self-assurance, self-promotion, and even self-indulgence, a Christian virtue is declared up that speaks of gentleness, meekness and humility? How does a follower of Jesus discover the truth that the truly happy are those who know that it is the meek who will inherit the earth? Let’s look at this truth and why it matters.

Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

How does this Beatitude fit in our world today? Does it sound like anything you’ve heard talked about today? Have you seen this in a social media or promoted by any of a multitude of “Influencers?” Probably not.

Our world says such things as, “You want to achieve? Assert yourself. Be aggressive. Be self-assured.  Power is the tool for success and getting on in this world.” And when it comes to others: “Influence, manipulate, find advantages, assert, intimidate, position yourself, promote yourself.” This is what you hear today. This is the doctrine of the media savvy. This is the philosophy of the up-and-coming. Life belongs to the pushers and shovers, the self-promoters.

And yet, Jesus comes and declares that it is not so among His followers. The life, the spirit, and the economy of a believer is totally different. You see this clearly demonstrated in this next Beatitude.

As we look at this Beatitude, let me remind you again. Like all of the other Beatitudes, Jesus is not describing what is found in a person’s natural dispositions. He’s not presenting traits that belongs to certain types of persons like when we say, “Well, he’s is an extrovert. Or, she’s is an introvert.
In these Beatitudes and throughout the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is describing character traits that are to belong in all of His followers. This is what we are meant to be like.

So, what is Jesus talking about when He says “Blessed are the meek.” What does it mean to be “Meek?” You see, words carry meaning and oftentimes what people think of when they hear a word is not actually it’s true or intended meaning. This is certainly true with the word meek, meekness.

Knowing this, let’s begin looking at what it doesn’t mean.

A person who is meek is not a person who is:
Indolent - They are to be confused with a person who is lazy or lethargic, laid-back in their nature or by choice. Some people are by nature this way and this is not what Jesus is describing.

Neither is this a person who is Easy-going, a person who gets along well with others and therefore gives the appearance of meekness.

Neither is it to be confused with what we would call a Nice Person. Meekness is not describing a person who is naturally a nice person. Most everyone likes people like that because they’re nice people.

Meekness is also not describing a person who has a weakness in personality. Meekness is not that person who compromises with others, seeks peace at any price, or is non-offensive by choice.

While some of these characteristics can be pleasant and sometimes desirable in a person, this is NOT what Jesus is referring to when He speaks of a person who is Meek.

Let me again remind you that in these Beatitudes, Jesus is speaking about an inward character, character qualities that in turn manifests themselves outwardly.

Well then, what does Jesus mean when He speaks of a person who is Meek?

The word in the Bible is translated, Meek, Gentle, Humble. Now, all of these are good translations. So, what does it mean?

To begin with I want you to notice something. With this beatitude Jesus all of a sudden begins looking at how we relate concerning other people. You see, both the Poor in Spirit, those who Mourn is concerns itself with how we relate before God. With this Beatitude, others suddenly come into play. And you’ll see this as we move along.

Meekness! Just the saying the word, it sounds like weakness – MeekWeak. But really, nothing could be further from the truth. The word in the original language speaks of “Power under Control.” It’s the picture of a naturally strong animal that’s tamed broken and brought into control. One picture that comes to mind is that of a powerful horse controlled by a bridle. All of that power in this magnificent animal is brought under the control and now directed to a purposeful work.

Another way to understand meekness is someone having a true view of themselves and their conduct in respect to others.

Okay. One way to translate this word meekness is Humble. Because a meek person is not an individual proud of themselves or self-absorbed. I love one translation that I once heard concerning Humility. It says that Humility is “holding your power for the good of others.” The self doesn’t have to be preeminent or on display. Others occupy space and they’re just as important and you are.

Meekness also speaks mildness of spirit and in the life of a believer. There’s an absence of the spirit of retaliation. And there’s a reason for that. The meek manifest the redemptive work that’s been done in them and will be done in their life. They live their life trusting the end results in hands of God.

Think about how this speaks, this meekness speaks to a generation where everything seems to be focused on Self.  We live in a culture so self-absorbed that persons move from the extremes of self-promotion and self-adulation all the way to self-pity and self-loathing. All along the SELF is the key focus of their existence. Everything about their life and destiny seems to be in their own hands. Keep that in mind as we move along.

The Bible provides us examples of what Meekness looks like. Meekness is…

It’s Abraham allowing Lot to choose to have the better land. He didn’t have to do that, but he did.

It’s David refusing to kill Saul in the cave, even though Saul was seeking to kill him. Was it lack of initiative in David’s part?  Or was it really him trusting his life into the hands of the God who had made a promise to him?

It’s Jeremiah the fiery prophet preaching a very unpopular message all the while being isolated and ridiculed.

It’s Stephen being stoned and yet asking God to forgive his executioners.

It’s Paul the passionate missionary who was chased, hounded, arrested yet writes of the great work concerning the virtue of love.

And of course, the greatest example is Jesus.  Facing His upcoming death, He steps away from the table, takes a towel and washes His disciple’s feet.  Although He is God, He humbles Himself for our benefit, humbles Himself to die for the undeserving. This is power under control for the good of others.

You see, despite what ideas, viewpoints or philosophies we may hear today, Jesus said, that’s not the way. In Luke 14:11, I read it.  Jesus said, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” You see, the economy of human actions is totally different in the Kingdom than what the world spouts.

Do you remember the two great commandments? “And you shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul, and with all of your mind, and with all of your strength.” What is this saying? It saying that there is no one or nothing greater than God. Love Him greater than anything else.

And what is the second commandment? “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” What is this saying? It’s saying that no one is less important than you. So, love others.

Philippians 2:3-5 says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,” Holding your power for the good of others. It’s not the destruction of ambition or initiative. It’s the redirecting towards and under the hand of God. We’ve left the results to God.
 
We live our lives before God. He sees. He knows and He declares.

James 4:6 says, “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”

Do you see it?

How does this Beatitude of meekness, gentleness, humility connect when Jesus says that they will “inherit the earth?” Let me ask it this way.

Who is the owner, the determiner of the earth’s destiny? God is.
Who decides who gets what in the end? God does.
And who does He say will inherit the earth? Is it the pro-active, the self-promoting, the self-absorbed? Is it the boastful and the proud? No!

2 Corinthians 10:17-18 says, “But HE WHO BOASTS IS TO BOAST IN THE LORD. For it is not he who commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends.

It’s those who’ve entrusted their final approval into the hands of God. They walk humbly before God and with the ones they alive among. The story in the end is bigger than me. It’s only in seeing the BIG PICTURE that someone can find their place in the Story.

How does the story end? 2 Timothy 2:11-12a says, “It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him;

Let me ask you. Are you striving to write your own story? Do you really believe that you’re smart enough or good enough to make it all work out? Or have you just given up trying and you’re just existing?

It doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a better way. That way is placing your life into the hands of the One who writes amazing stories. You must understand something though. You can’t be the main character in the story. But the amazing thing is you get to know the Hero of the Story . . . up close.

But it’s got to be His way.
And His way says, “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
Now, that’s a story with a great ending.
It’s a true story. It’s a story with a great Truth that Matters.

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