The Sermon on the Mount is perhaps one of the most quoted, and talked about teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. It begins with Jesus making a series of statements known as the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes that Jesus is discussing in Matthew chapter 5, describe the ideal lifestyle, unique character, and reward of the individual that is living in the Kingdom. The third statement which will be our focus for today’s devotional, is verse 5, “Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth”.
“Blessed” In The Eyes of Jesus
Before we get into it, let’s take this verse apart to gain better understand of what Jesus is trying to say. In each of the statements that Jesus says, He begins by saying “Blessed.. “. The word “blessed” comes from the Greek word “makarios” which simply translates to joy. It’s very important to understand that God is referring to blessedness from His perspective, not ours. Although our culture today has abused and misused this word, the original meaning of blessed as well as to what Jesus is referring to, is spiritual prosperity or spiritual well being. It’s not focused on earthly blessings as we might think so. Rather, it refers to the deep joy of the soul; the type of satisfaction from experiencing the fullness of God.
Does Meekness Mean Weakness?
Absolutely not! Meekness is a word that is related or closely associated to humility, gentleness, and submission. However, meekness firstly explained in it’s most simple form is our perfect model, Jesus Christ. In Philippians 2:6-8 we read,
You will notice that in verse 3 it says: “Blessed are the poor in Spirit” – Poor in spirit are those who understand that they are not capable of saving themselves. They are individuals in a state of recognizing their own spiritual poverty. While in verse 4 Jesus continues by saying, “Blessed are they who mourn” – These individuals are now not only powerless in saving themselves, but they are also individuals who are aware of, and grieve over their separation from God due to their sinful state. Which is then followed by verse 5 in saying “Blessed are the meek”. These are individuals who recognize their spiritual poverty, who mourn over their (spiritual, sinful) condition, and are willing to submit themselves to the will of God.
For most of us, this is a challenging concept. We foolishly believe that because we are somehow running around doing things for God that we are somehow complete; that we are somehow submissive to God and therefore feel entitled. But in reality, the scripture challenges us to be conscious of how we view ourselves.
Paul does a great job of reminding us in this verse, just as Jesus did in the Beatitudes, that we need to imitate this willingness of relinquishing what we feel we are entitled to, or who we think we are, and humbly coming before Him with the understanding that we are in constant need of Him; that without Him we have nothing, and we are nothing.
See you next Monday!