“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). 

Pride and self-promotion are the fundament tenets of our world system. Secular humanism encourages us to make much of ourselves and exalts the greatness, wisdom, and goodness of man. That philosophy makes us the king of our own kingdom. This is a tragic and false view of life and eternity but this thinking prevails in our culture and, sadly, sometimes even in our churches. But Jesus says that those that will reign with Him in His Kingdom are the meek. They are the truly blessed ones. Jesus even described himself as meek (Matthew 11:29) and Paul mentions this attribute of our Lord (2 Corinthians 10:1) 

We may recoil at the concept of meekness in this context because we do not understand its meaning.  We often equate meekness with weakness but such is not the case. The Greek word for meekness needs to be understood as gentle, humble and considerate in nature due to the exercising of self-control. The NEB translates this verse as “those of a gentle spirit”. So meekness is not a lack of strength but harnessed and self-controlled strength. That is why a wild horse that has been “broken” was sometimes referred to as having been “meeked” – now with a gentle and harnessed power. Likewise, our brokenness before God, not our finite abilities, is the primer for the unleashing of His infinite power in us. Paul says that “For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him to serve you” (2 Corinthians 13:4) In other words, when our pride and self-promotion are harnessed then His power is released in us, through us and around us. 

Beyond this, meekness is an accurate estimation of ourselves in relation to others and, most importantly, our King. In other words, we are so overwhelmed over the mystery of the King of the universe even considering us in our unworthy state (“miserable sinner” is what many church confessionals call us) that it totally transforms the way that we relate to Him and others. The amazing nature of grace keeps us humble before our God and our fellow man. In that posture we are truly the blessed and contented ones as our perspective is a real reflection of the principles of Kingdom living found in the Sermon on the Mount. 

The glorious message of this Beatitude, in a day where the prideful and wicked seem to prosper, is that we, in our meekness and humility, will reign with Him over the earth. Here Jesus seems to be quoting the Psalmist when he said, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes…But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace…Wait for the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it” (Psalm 37:7, 11, 34). According to the Lord, the control of the wicked over this world is just a mirage. He still has dominion and we His servants. 

Though seemingly deprived and impoverished, the meek, in a very real but spiritual sense, enjoy now all that is Christ’s. And that includes the earth. So with the contentment and blessedness of His spiritual Kingdom, we “possess” all that is His: “So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future–all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God (1 Corinthians 3:21-23). Paul also spoke of “having nothing, and yet possessing everything” (2 Corinthians 6:10). It might not appear so but this earth is His gift to His people. 

Even more staggering is that in the future those that are the gentle of spirit “in Christ” will physically reign with Him in the “new heaven and new earth” (Matthew 19:28, I Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1). Rudolf Stier sums up the blessed and counter-cultural power of meekness before God and others, “Self-renunciation is the way to world-dominion”. Only the plan of the sovereign King of Kings could have devised such a Kingdom and chosen grace as the means of entrance. And it is in meekness that we will experience it.

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