Blessed are the Meek, for They Will Inherit The Earth [Matthew 5:5]
So over the past few weeks, while I’ve been working on this series from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount this has been the one that I’ve been looking forward to the most and I’m sure on a blog called The Meekonomics Project many of you have been wondering how I would treat it as well. To any of you who have taken the time to read portions of the book I’m working on (Meekonomics 101; How to Inherit the Earth and Live Life to the Fullest under God’s Economy) this will come as no surprise; being meek is all about releasing our hold on personal power.
I’ve said many times before that meek is one of those so called bible words that has fallen so far out of common usage that we have to spend quite a bit of time reminding ourselves of its’ definition before we can do any analysis of where it fits in the context of this passage.
Webster defines meek as;
- Enduring injury with patience and without resentment
- Deficient in spirit and courage
- Not violent or strong
With respect to Mr. Webster, these definitions are quite simply wrong and not at all what the bible translators intended when they chose the word in the first place.
True, to be meek means to endure and to be patient and not resentful, and meek people are generally not violent but to be deficient in spirit and courage, or weak are not characteristics of a meek person, at least not in the biblical sense. A better definition of meek is to consider a broken horse. Horses are strong, powerful and majestic animals but when they are bridled and put to work under human direction they are often said to be meek. The horse in this situation has not lost any of its strength, power or majesty in allowing itself to be directed by another but it has submitted to a greater purpose. Under the direction of a human master the meek horse is now capable of pulling a load or plowing a field, something that under its own power it never would have attempted. In the same way when we submit ourselves to God we are able to achieve greatness beyond our wildest imaginations, greatness that we never would have even considered had we remained our own masters. That is what I believe Jesus is getting at here when he says that the meek shall inherit the earth. If we submit ourselves to God we will do things that are so beyond our wildest dreams we may as well have become masters of the universe!
Later on Jesus calls his disciples to him and reminds them that the way of the world is for the strong and powerful to oppress the weak but that is not to be the way in which his followers act.
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” [Matthew 20:25-28]
This is an example of meekness in action. So is this;
The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. [Matthew 23:11-12]
Blessed are those who submit their personal power to a higher authority and serve the needs of others, for they will receive everything.
So what’s your attitude toward power?