Summary: The world thinks in terms of strength and power, of ability, self-assurance and aggressiveness. Yet Jesus said "Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth."
BLESSED ARE THE MEEK
Once again we have a beatitude that is completely contrary to the thinking of the modern world. It is oppossed to everything which the natural man thinks. "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." World conquest, possession of the universe-given to the meek, of all people. The world thinks in terms of strength and power, of ability, self-assurance and aggressiveness.
Yet Jesus said "Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth." In addition, other Biblical writers spoke of meekness.
Paul admonishes us to: "....speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility (meekness) to all men." Titus 3:2.
"Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness (meekness), considering yourself lest you also be tempted." Galatians 6:1
"In humility (meekness) correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they many know the trugh, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will." II Timothy 2:25-26.
James wrote, that we were to "receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls." James 1:21
The word "Meek" has been translated, "gentle" "humble" "lowly." Now to the modern person, that means weak. Yet to understand meekness in that way is to miss the point of this beatitude. Consider with me in the first place:
I. WHAT MEEKNESS IS NOT
Meek does not mean weak, wimpy. To understand what meekness means, lets look at the opposite of meekness. Meekness is not a natural quality. It does not mean "indolence." There are people who appear to be meek in a natural sense, but they are not meek at all. They are indolent. The opposite of meekness is SELF-ASSERTIVE, AMBITIOUS, PUSHY, HAUGHTY, COCKY, EGOTISTICAL, VAIN, CONCEITED.
We could find many examples of this in the Bible, and even among people that we all know. However, lets look at a character found in III John by the name of Diotrephes. (III John 9-11) Several characteristics stand out about this man who caused such problems in the church.
1. He was self-assertive. That is, he was a man who loved to be first. He wanted to be in control. He wanted to have his way.
2. He refused to recognize authority. John wrote that Diotrophes "does not receive us." He was unsubmissive to God and to others in the church.
3. He was a malicious gossip who was ready to destroy others to build himself up and be in control. He caused serious disharmony in the church.
It is sad but there have been many over the centuries who have the attitude of Diotrephes. They would certainly have trouble with the third beatitude. Diotrephes caused such trouble in the church that the Beloved Apostle had to deal with him.
II. WHAT IS MEEKNESS
Actually, meekness is compatable with great strength. It is compatable with great authority and power. Only two people in the Bible are actually described as meek. Both had great authority and power.
In Numbers 12:3 we read, "Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth." Yet he manifested great courage and leadership. He was the greatest man of the Old Testament. He certainly wasn’t weak.
Jesus was the greatest man of the New Testament and is still the greatest. Jesus said, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus was meek but he wasn’t weak. I don’t know who first painted the picture of Jesus that made him look like a blue eyed blond sissy. He was meek and humble. He was gentle, loving and kind. Yet he had tremendous courage to confront the false teaching of the pharisees and Sadducees. He had the courage to drive out of the temple those who were desecrating it by their trade. He had the courage to endure the cross and despise its shame even when he had the authority to call heaven to his rescue..
True meekness has to do with inward discipline and not outter weakness. To understand who the "Meek" are it will be helpful to discover how the word was used in the greek. There are two uses that will help us grasp the significance of "meek."
A. The word translated "Meek" was used to describe anger under control.
Sometimes we think that a meek person never gets angry. That is not the case for the Bible says, "Be angry and sin not." Even Jesus got angry. The meek person has discovered a balance between never showing anger, and excessive anger, between too little anger and too much anger.