As you read and reflect on today’s beatitude, please listen to this track from contemporary Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. We will feature this track throughout Lent.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
In the beatitudes Jesus is describing the new person, the new creation of God who will reign with Christ in His kingdom. Jesus pronounces God’s blessing upon the meek, and promises that they will inherit the earth with Him. It is from Jesus that we learn what it means to be meek. Jesus welcomes all to come and learn from Him for He is “meek and lowly of heart” (Matthew 11:29). Meekness is one of the first things Jesus would teach His disciples. The Apostle Paul appeals to readers on the basis of “the meekness and gentleness of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:1). Meekness is a distinguishing mark of Jesus’ followers.
We ought not be surprised that the world is in a fog about meekness, and confuses meekness with weakness. A wag once quipped that if you think you have to be weak to be meek, then try being meek for a week. In Jesus we see meekness as power reined in and brought under control.
The Greek word translated as meek (praus) was used of the wild animal that had been tamed so that its energies were brought under control, enabling it to respond to command. A horse tamed and brought under control was actually called a “meek horse”. It was often the meekest horse that won the race. Instead of exploding with energy in all directions, the horse responded meekly to the rider’s tug on the rein.
So far from being weak, meekness is teeming energy under command. The meek will not use their powers for their own self-centered purpose. Like their Lord Jesus, they have yielded control to another: God.
It is meekness we see in Jesus when He does not strike out against His accusers or abusers. It is meekness we see in Jesus as He prays for Father to forgive those who are crucifying Him. Jesus demonstrates what meekness truly means as He places His life into Father’s hands.
The Bible speaks of Moses as “meek above all the men which were upon the earth” (Numbers 12:3). Moses was not a man without ambition and fire. He was “instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in his words and deeds” (Acts 7:22). But it was in the desert wilderness that Moses yielded all to God and grew responsive to His command.
The meekness of Moses and of our Lord Jesus illustrates Martyn Lloyd-Jones description of meekness:
Meekness is compatible with great strength. Meekness is compatible with great authority and power…The meek man is one who may so believe in standing for the truth that he will die for it if necessary. The martyrs were meek, but they were never weak; strong men, yet meek men.
Noted Bible commentator William Barclay adds this important reminder about meekness:
No man can lead others until he has mastered himself; no man can serve others until he has subjected himself; no man can be in control of others until he has learned to control himself. But the man who gives himself into the complete control of God will gain this meekness which will enable him to inherit the earth. (The Gospel of Matthew, The New Daily Study Bible)
How truly, truly blessed are the meek of this world who know their utter need for God, and have yielded all to Him. They are the ones with whom God will share His rule. They are the ones who “will inherit the earth”.
PONDER AND PRAY
“He leads the meek in what is right, and teaches the meek his way.”—Psalm 25:9
- We defined meekness as “power under control”. Based on today’s reading, put in your own words what you understand by meekness.
- Pray: “Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!/ Thou art the Potter, I am the clay./ Mold me and make me after Thy will,/ While I am waiting, yielded and still.” (Adelaide D. Potter)
- What do you want To Say To God?