The meek

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).

To be meek is not to be weak. A weak person might be weak because he or she has no other choice, but one who chooses to be meek is probably not weak. It takes great inner strength to be meek.

To be meek means to be willing to let others be in control. Meek is the opposite of brash: a brash person is always trying to be in control and to make people do things his or her way. Various insults characterize people who are brash and not meek, because brash people are not well-liked. Yet other people have coined insults for the meek. In this world, people are urged to assert themselves, to demand their rights, and to refuse to be pushed around by others. Those who do not behave this way are sometimes called spineless wimps, lacking in self-esteem, and deserving to be victims since they do not demand the respect they deserve.

It takes great inner strength to be meek when one is strong. Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was tried by the Sanhedrin and by Pilate and Herod, he was mistreated by the Temple guards and by Roman soldiers, and he was mocked while hanging on the cross. At any step along the way, Jesus could have freed himself and taken revenge on his enemies. He chose not to fight or to seek revenge because he had a greater plan in mind. He was working to free sinners. Because he was meek to be our Savior and our Redeemer, Christians now are called to imitate Jesus; we are called to be meek.

Forcing people to do things our way and taking revenge on those who don’t is not the path chosen by those who follow Jesus Christ. We are called to exercise self-control rather than trying to control others. We are taught by God to be strong enough to be meek.

How is it possible to be meek like Christ? Holy meekness results from the blessing promised by Christ, the assurance that we will inherit the earth. A Day is coming when the world will be melted in fire and remade (II Peter 3:10). The world will be restored to its original perfection. Only those who are right with God through Christ will be citizens of that new creation. The new creation is his kingdom; because of his loving generosity, it will be our home as well.

We do not earn a place in the new creation by being meek. Jesus describes our reception of the world as an inheritance. His blessing is a gift, guaranteed to us through the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He bought the world with his blood and with his life; but through his death on the cross we inherit what belongs to him. Knowing that we possess this inheritance changes us today. No longer do we care to be involved in the petty disputes of the present world. Our minds are on higher things. We do not mind being meek today, even if our meekness causes us to suffer today, because a better world already belongs to us.

Being meek, though, does not mean that we do nothing. We hunger and thirst for righteousness, and we are peacemakers: we are active in this world, active on the side of good. We fight for what is right. We defend the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We do not fight for ourselves. Like Jesus, we are willing to be meek today because of the greater victory that has already been won. J.

4 thoughts on “The meek

  1. Perhaps this is being nit-picky, but could you please clarify
    “through His death on the cross we inherit what belongs to Him”?

    I’m trying to think this through –

    Upon the death of my parents, I will inherit what belongs to them, but it won’t actually be mine until their will goes to the courts and the judge grants it to me, according to my parents wishes.

    Isn’t it kinda the same with Jesus? Upon His death, we all became inheritors, but we don’t actually have that inheritence until it is delivered to us in baptism (or, more broadly, at the point of conversion)?

    I don’t think it really changes the point of your essay, it’s just that in my mind, there is a distinction between the two.

    Am I crazy to think that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are entirely right; you are being more specific about something that I said in a general way. Holy Baptism is the adoption ceremony that makes us children of God and inheritors; but the cost of the adoption was paid at the cross. We cannot inherit if Christ does not die. These is a “now and not yet” paradox in Christianity by which the blessings God grants to us are ours now and yet not fully ours until the Day of the Lord. Trying to resolve the paradox with “now, not later,” or with, “later, therefore not now” contradicts Biblical teaching. J.

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      • Ah…so I was being nit-picky 😁
        I concur with these thoughts.
        You also touched in a couple of concepts that interest me – the now/not yet paradox and the Day of the Lord. If ever you want to expand on those concepts, I’d enjoy hearing it 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • I just might do that tomorrow. As I thought more about your comment and my answer, I realized that Jesus also refers to us receiving “the inheritance prepared for you before the foundations of the world.” So there’s another time-related conundrum. J.

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