Summary: Third of the Eight Milestones on the Journey of the Fruitful Followers.
I read in the news yesterday about the Burmese government’s attempt to eliminate Christians from the land of Burma. One of the major media that reported this news was the Sunday Telegraph of London. The following is the beginning part of the report:
The military regime in Burma is intent on wiping out Christianity in the country, according to claims in a secret document believed to have been leaked from a government ministry. Entitled "Programme to destroy the Christian religion in Burma", the incendiary memo contains point by point instructions on how to drive Christians out of the state.
The text, which opens with the line "There shall be no home where the Christian religion is practised", calls for anyone caught evangelising to be imprisoned. It advises: "The Christian religion is very gentle – identify and utilise its weakness."
Did you hear that, the totalitarian regime said that the Christianity is very gentle? I am proud of the fact instead of feeling threatened, because that means the Christians there are living a Christ-like life. Jesus asked us to learn from his meekness or gentleness. He said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:28, KJV)
The Greek word for meekness πραΰς “praus” means gentleness of spirit. It is the outward poise of inner spiritual strength. Unfortunately, the totalitarian regime thinks it is a weakness. The Bible teaches us that meekness is also sign of wisdom. The Epistle of James said, “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good life let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.” James 3:13 (RSV)
The regime’s purpose for wiping out Christianity is to make every home Buddhist. Even though there is only about 6% of the population being Christians in Burma, they still feel threatened by the meekness of Christianity. Buddhism is supposed to be a religion that worships wisdom. Since meekness is a sign of wisdom, by intending to eliminate the meek, it seems to me that they are trying to wipe out wisdom from the land.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.” The meek will never wiped out but God will give them the inheritance of the earth. If the meek Christians can be wiped out from the earth the Roman Empire would have done it two thousand years ago. They couldn’t even keep Jesus in the tomb for more than three days, and today there are 2 billion Christians around the world. Sociologically speaking, no one has more influence in human history than this carpenter’s son Jesus.
The amazing thing about Christianity is that it is resilient. When Jesus was killed he came back to life. When the followers were oppressed, they multiplied. During a decade of Cultural Revolution in China, Christianity was assumed wiped out. But after China reopened the door, they found out that the Christian population has grown a hundred folds under the oppression. During those years, they didn’t have Bible to read. There were very few Bibles available, which were secretly kept because it was illegal to possessed one. Those few Bibles were taken apart in to 66 little books, so that more people can read from one copy of the Bible and also make it easy to hide.
Today we are talking about the third milestone on the journey of the fruitful followers, based on the 8 beatitudes. Jesus called those that are in the first milestone, the poor in spirit, because they realize that they have a long way to go. He said they are blessed because a fruitful life is waiting for them.
Then last week we focused on the second blessing for those who are on the second milestone. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” The Holy Spirit is known to be the Comforter. He comes those whose hearts are broken by the things that break the heart of God. It is a painful moment because we mourn for the death of our own egos. It is like a seed that allows its hard shell to break open and germination begins.
Today we are focusing third milestone—“blessed are the meek.” At this point, the ego is death. (Slide). We become totally submissive to the power of God. This is the stage that we are able to “let go and let God.”
The word meek or meekness appeared in the Bible for about forty times and it is often described as a good virtue. We will look at the three most important teaching of the Bible about meekness.
1 – Meekness: an image of Jesus Christ
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:28, KJV)