“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
(Matthew 5:5 ESV)
As we work our way through the Beatitudes we’ve thus far seen that the first two present a radically different way of thinking. It doesn’t get any less radical with the third Beatitude, which we study today.
People know how to look out for themselves. We go for what we want in life with selfish abandon, thinking this is what makes life worth living. But, as usual, Jesus turns this way of thinking upside-down. People who live this way are not blessed, though they may think they are.
Rather it is the meek who are blessed. The word “meek” is one of the most misunderstood words in all of the English language. It has come to be defined as “spineless” or “subservient”, ostensibly because it sounds like “weak”. But that is not the meaning of the word.
The Greek word translated as “meek” is πραυσ (pronounced: prah-ooce’). The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle used this word to define any virtue in terms of the happy medium between the extreme of excess and the extreme of deficiency. For example, someone who is meek neither gets angry too much nor too little.
Such a person exhibits strength through self control much like a domesticated farm animal, such as an ox. This animal is no less strong than he was when he was untamed. But that strength is now under control and is put to constructive use.
So as we see a “meek” person is hardly weak. A meek person is emotionally strong – thinking neither too much or too little of himself. He doesn’t look out for himself at the expense of others but at the same time does not view himself as worthless. He has the right perspective on himself and on life.
This is obviously in direct contrast to the way the world lives. Today people have a sense of entitlement where they come first – and often only – in their own lives. When they are wronged by someone else, however slightly, they seek compensation in court or other means. Needless to say such selfish living does not make the world a better place.
But true disciples of Jesus (which is what The Beatitudes define) recognize our sinful state (Beatitude #1) and are remorseful because of it (Beatitude #2). We can then give up control of our own lives and let God direct us through His Holy Spirit. We can see the world and all its flaws and imperfections (which we’d all agree are many) for what it is – temporary. Then, no matter what happens, we can live lives that exhibit His grace and mercy without worrying about our own welfare [Philippians 1:27].
The reward God promises to those who are meek is they shall inherit the earth. Someday God will take back this earth from Satan, who is currently ruling over it and has been since Adam & Even turned it over to him [Genesis 3:1-6; 1 John 5:19]. When God does reclaim it those who belong to Him through faith in Jesus Christ [John 1:12], will receive our inheritance. We will live in paradise on an earth as God meant it to be.
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