Summary: This message continues with the character traits of a disciple based on the beatitudes.
Discipleship Part 5: Character Traits
This morning we will continue with the character traits of a disciple using the beatitudes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount as our reference. To date we have discussed three traits: being obedience; being poor in spirit; and being mournful. This morning we will continue beginning with verse five of Matthew chapter five.
I. Be Gentle (Meek)
“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Vs. 5)
The word translated as gentle or meek in this verse carries the meaning of someone with a fine blend of spiritual poise and strength; it is the gentleness of strength. This verse is talking about having a sense of humility as you walk in your spiritual strength. It is referring primarily to our attitude towards God which in turn is reflected in how we treat people. A good example of someone demonstrating this trait was Moses. Moses walked and talked with God just as we walk and talk with one another. With everything Moses experienced while in the presence of God he never lorded his strength over the people. He was always meek even as he angrily addressed their rebellion. There was one incident when Moses’ brother and sister rose up against him because he chose to marry a woman of color. This story was recorded in Numbers the twelfth chapter. Turn there as I want you to witness the gentleness of Moses.
Let’s begin reading at verse one. “Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman); and they said, ‘Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us as well?’ And the Lord heard it.” (Numbers 12:1-2) We need to be careful how we complain about one another. In this case, they did not like Moses’ decision to marry a Cushite woman. The Cushite reference comes from the descendants of Cush, Ham’s first son. They lived in the southernmost part of the region, most likely Ethiopia. It is not known if she was fully Ethiopian or mixed, but she was definitely a woman of color and Mirian and Aaron were not in agreement of his decision. Regardless of why they were not in agreement, what is important here is their decision to speak against Moses whom God had chosen to lead the people. They felt that they were just as important as Moses was in the leadership of the people. Now look at verse three.
“Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.” (Vs. 3) Moses did not answer their charges or lash out against them. He did not defend his action nor did he try to fight with them over the leadership of the people. From all accounts, he said nothing. This verse records that Moses was very humble, the most humble man on the earth. Now we do not have time to read all of what happen, but when you have time, go back and read it. Because Moses was who he was; God defended him. God called a meeting and invited Miriam and Aaron to attend with Moses. How would you like to be called into a private meeting with God so that He can set you straight on something or someone you’re complaining about? This is what happened with Miriam and Aaron. You can read the story to find out the rest of it.
My point with this is that Moses was a very humble man who walked in the strength of God’s anointing. He stood before kings in battle and won; yet he remained humble. At his hands God performed many miracles; yet Moses remained humble. Through the leading of God he accomplished the impossible, delivering the Children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; and still he remained humble. Moses understood that everything he did was through the grace and power of God and through that understanding he could be humble regardless of what he accomplished for God. If some of us had done a small part of what Moses had done we would have our own talk show; books written; and be on tour as a motivational speaker about how God can use anyone (of course we would be getting paid for our speaking.) This was not who Moses was and because the world praises this mentality of recognition, we struggle to be meek.
Jesus said the following in Matthew 11:27-30: “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burdens light.”