Summary: Everyone seems to believe that wealth will make them happy. In this passage we read of a man who had it all yet he walked away from God because he had so much.
Finding God’s Strength
Matthew 5:5 and 11:28-30
The setting for the message this morning is found in one of the highlights of the ministry of Jesus. His ministry had its share of highs and lows but this was definitely one of his finer moments. In the background, Jesus had just gone through Galilee…the Bible says He has been teaching and preaching in the synagogues, He has been healing every disease and sickness among the people. News has begun to spread all over Syria. So more people came to Him to be healed. People suffering severe pain, those who were demon possessed, those having seizures and the paralyzed and he healed them.
At that point Matthew says that large crowds came from all over that area and followed him. As they arrived and Jesus saw the crowds he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples were there and He began to teach and in v. 5 He said this….blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.
Like many of the teachings of Jesus, the words He spoke did not really go along with the popular views of the day. Listen again to what he said…blessed are the meek…they will inherit the earth. This is certainly not the teaching that is found in the business world today. Rather young people are taught that in order to succeed you must :
• Focus on yourself first
• If you need to run over someone to get to the top, go ahead
• Succeed at all costs
These are popular teachings right now in the 21st century but believe it or not it was very similar in the 1st century. Many people in that day associated power with religion and so when Jesus came along and became very popular among the people, the religious leaders felt threatened. They were accustomed to being able to force the people to do whatever they wanted them to do---they constantly took advantage of the people in an attempt to only make life better for one person-themselves.
And in the middle of all of that Jesus brings this teaching…Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. The main problem with this word meekness is that too many people associate it with weakness. Meekness is not weakness. Meekness is actually best defined as power under control.
• Moses was a powerful leader. He took the Israelites through the wilderness all the way to the promised land. He stood up to Pharaoh and the Bible says that he was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.
• Jesus himself told us that He was meek and humble in his heart.
Now in this series called Life’s Healing Choices we have looked at 2 choices so far that we must make…. (1) Realize we are not God. Admit that we are powerless. (2) Earnestly believe that God exists. And believe that He has the power and the desire to help us. (3) choose to Commit our lives to His care. This the choice of commitment.
Commitment is a difficult choice for many people. Men, for one reason or another often get labelled with being unable to commit to something. I think the problem with commitment is this…we make a commitment to something and when we do we don’t know the future holds for us and then we feel like we are no longer in control.
In Matthew 1 Jesus spoke these words, Come to me all of you who are weary and overburdened and I will give you rest. For I am meek and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Now let’s face it. That’s a pretty amazing deal. In this passage Jesus tells us that we must do 3 things. 1. Come to Jesus. Whenever you face any difficulty in life, whatever you do first says volumes about your spiritual life. The apostle Paul prayed constantly. And even when his prayer was not answered the way he wanted it, he prayed again and again. Job, faced one tragedy after another but he continued to go to the Lord for his strength. Even as things grew worse Job kept his walk with the Lord. Even his friends turned against him and his wife as well.
Let me ask you, what is the first thing you do when you receive difficult news? And who is the first person you go to? Whatever difficulty you and I face, our first step should be in the direction of Jesus.
2. Put on His yoke. A yoke is a wooden beam normally used between a pair of oxen to enable them to work together to pull a heavy load. As in this slide.