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.”
The American writer Bill Vaughan suggested that “In the game of life it’s a good idea to have a few early losses, which relieves you of the pressure of trying to maintain an undefeated season”. The meek feel relieved of such pressure, so count them as blessed. They are well aware of their failures and losses; they are freed from devilish perfectionism. They are released from the need to perform for others. Their prayer is that of the tax-collector, “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:14). They are poor in spirit, mourning for their sin, and not impressed with their own performance. They feel little need to impress God, others, or themselves.
Biblical scholar Ethelbert Bullinger described the meek as “free from haughty self-sufficiency, tender of spirit” (A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament). Martyn Lloyd Jones adds to our understanding of the meek:
The man who is meek is not even sensitive about himself. He is not always watching himself and his own interests. He is not always on the defensive. We all know about this, do we not? Is it not one of the greatest curses in life as a result of the fall – this sensitivity about self? We spend our whole lives watching ourselves. But when a man is meek he has finished with all that; he no longer worries about himself and what other people say (The Sermon on the Mount).
A good indicator of whether or not I am really meek is not that I will say, “I am a poor sinner”. The real test of whether I am meek is how I respond when someone else calls me “a poor sinner”. The meek know better than most how spiritually bankrupt they really are, and thus feel little need to defend themselves. The meek are usually surprised when people think as well of them as they do, or treat them as well as they do. They are freed from the opinions of others, and not so sensitive to personal slights or being ignored. They are pleased to leave such matters in the hands of God.
PONDER AND PRAY
“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.”—I Peter 2:21-23
- How do you usually respond when someone ignores you, slights you, or speaks against you?
- Jesus invites all to come and learn from Him because He is “meek and lowly of heart” (Matthew 11:29). Why not ask Jesus to teach you more about His meekness?
- What do you want To Say To God?