“Blessed are the meek, because they shall inherit the earth.”
Meek Doesn’t Equal Weak
The meek…hardly to be imagined as blessed by Jesus’ listeners. Too often they, and we, would equate meekness with weakness. We have a mental image of some weak, Casper Milktoast, shuffling around, dominated by everyone, content to be a doormat for others.
But I don’t believe that is Jesus’ intention here at all. Moses in the Old Testament is describe as a “meek” man. Somehow Moses doesn’t fit the picture of Casper Milktoast. The word πραΰς was used in Greek to describe a stallion that had been tamed to respond to the will of his rider. It is an image of strength under control, strength yielded to another.
Our Best Effort
As human beings we so easily go from “I am broken, bankrupt, and needy; and it grieves me that it is so” to “but just give me a little time Jesus, and I can turn this thing around. I can do better. I will give it my best effort. I can make you proud of me!” And Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that working out for you?”
What Jesus looks for is not our getting discouraged and giving up, not our getting motivated and giving our best effort, but for surrender of all that we are to him. As a child we used to sing a hymn in church, “Give of your best to the Master,” as though our best were good enough. I am convinced that Jesus is not calling for our best, but for our brokenness. We will get around to doing our best through his enabling power later, but entering into the Kingdom of God is about yielding selves, our brokenness, our energies, ambitions, and longings to him.
And then somehow, without it being a conscious pursuit on our part, we inherit (receive as a gift) what everyone else seems to be fighting over without success. We inherit the earth.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fifth post in a series exploring the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12. Read the last post on “The Beatitudes: The Ones Who Mourn.”
The series is based on Dr. Bill Fowler’s Gilhousen Lecture given July 14, 2020 at YTI. Watch the entire lecture on Facebook here.