I wonder what people thought when they first heard Jesus teach this beatitude, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5.
The Sermon on the Mount was Jesus’ first major message to the masses of people who followed Him from all over Galilee. His message begins with eight beatitudes, which some bible scholars call a general summary of the entire Gospel.
Jesus doesn’t preach or instruct on the mountain. Rather He gives us eight actions, or thought processes. These choices will bless those who understand and apply them to their lives.
The second life suggestion Jesus offers is meekness. And if we choose meekness as a mind set, as a goal for living, we will be blessed and we will inherit the earth.
At this point we need to stop and ask ourselves if we believe this or not. It is easier to read these beatitudes and say, “Gee, those are nice”, then move on to scriptures we think we understand better.
We either believe Jesus or we don’t. Either Jesus meant what He said, or He didn’t. If we believe He is telling the truth, than it might encourage us to dig a little deeper into what these beatitudes mean for us.
First we need to understand that meek meant something entirely different in Jesus day than it does in ours. In our perverse culture of violence, sexual perversion and apathy, meek describes someone who is weak, who lacks courage, who has no incentive to prosper, who feeds off other people.
That was not the case in Jesus’ day. Meek was a positive attribute. Meekness was a desirable character attribute. God called Moses meek. Jesus said He was meek.
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.
Matthew 11:28-30 KJV
Tomorrow, we’ll explore exactly what meekness is and how we can become meek, and we’ll discover why it is so desirable.