Blessed are the Meek
New Testament Verse: Matthew 5:5
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
There’s something unique about Jesus. Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus as a meek person. He wasn’t considered to be weak nor was he indecisive or timid nor was he a push-over. Jesus was nothing close to being any of those things. However, he was meek. This verse is quite mysterious. How can we be meek if we have a difficult time understanding the meaning of meekness? I know some have argued that being meek is being nice; unfortunately, niceness and meekness are completely two different things; there are people who are just naturally nice and easy-going, but meekness goes much deeper. The Greek word for meek is praeia (πραεῖα) which means to not be overly impressed by a sense of one’s self-importance, gentle, humble, considerate. D.A Carson explains it this way: Meekness is a controlled desire to see the other’s interests advance ahead of one’s own. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones puts it this way: The man who is truly meek is the one who is amazed that God and man can think of him as well as they do and treat him as well as they do…Finally, I would put it like this. We are to leave everything – ourselves, our rights, our cause, our whole future – in the hands of God, and especially so if we feel we are suffering unjustly.
Meekness means that we are to be so Christ-centered that we do not consider ourselves to be of importance and we place the Kingdom of God before and above all. But to place the Kingdom of God as the first and uttermost importance of our lives, we must place others before us. We must surrender our needs, desires, rights, causes and our future for our neighbors. But we must first rest in the assurance of our risen King that we are already justified so that we no longer need to concern ourselves with “trying to justify ourselves” because it’s already accomplished on the cross and through our union with Jesus (we possess all everything that we need in Him). Meekness is concerned about edifying our neighbors and seeking to bring the realities of the Kingdom of God in all spheres of life, which leads to human flourishing. Meekness helps us to see ourselves for who we truly are: poor in spirit and humble (not thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to). This is how meekness helps us to relate with others. No one likes a know-it-all or moralistic-elitist (extreme pietistic) Christian; everyone (including believers) are turned away from them! There’s a reason why Jesus opposed the Pharisees and the other religious leaders who were self-righteous; it’s not attractive, uplifting, nor God glorifying.
Christ has given us new life which is marked with His meekness. However, meekness is developed as we spend time with Him in prayer and by using his grace to practice meekness. Yes, practice. Our habits inform the pedagogy of our hearts. Meekness is not natural to us, but it’s something that God helps us to grow in as we faithfully walk in it (practice). Meekness is one of the marks of discipleship; as we grow in meekness, we will become a greater blessing for our neighbors in ways that will point them to our meek and loving King, Jesus Christ.