Summary: No. 8 in series on the Fruit of the Spirit, on Meekness.
Fruit of the Spirit—Meekness (2-4 Lessons)
Series: Fruit of the Spirit Teaching Series
Aug. 16, 23, Sept. 7, 14 2014
TEXT: Galatians 5:22-23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 MEEKNESS, temperance: against such there is no law.”
What do the following true illustrations have in common?
Illus. – Three Christian families have lost their teenage children in a tragic car accident in Florida. They have a joint funeral and people are amazed at their acceptance of God’s will in their lives. They shed a river of tears, but do not lash out and blame God. They look for the good that will come of it.
Illus. – My second illustration is Dr. Lee Roberson, the founder and president of the Christian university I attended. Dr. Roberson seemed absolutely immune to criticism. Jealous brethren maligned him when we withdrew from the denomination he was in because of its liberalism in the 1950s, and he was criticized by Christians from many quarters. But Dr. Roberson never struck back; he never retaliated; he never seemed to give a hoot about all the opposition he received. He just went about the business that God had called him to do.
Illus. – My third illustration is this: A man had a meeting at a Christian university and was having trouble finding the university president’s office. He saw a man in overalls painting a hallway and asked, “Can you tell me where the president’s office is?”
“Sure,” the workman said, “Just down that hall and on your left.”
He found the office and informed the receptionist that he was here for his meeting with the president.
“Just one moment,” she said, and he sat down for a five-minute wait.
When he was ushered in, there was the workman standing before him—this time in a suit and tie.” The workman in the hallway and the university president standing before him were one and the same.
He was amazed that a university president would humble himself and do the lowly work of common workmen. What he didn’t know was that no man ever had a more loyal faculty, work force and student body because he was not so big that he couldn’t put on some overalls and do common dirty work.
Now you may wonder what these three apparently dissimilar illustrations have in common. Each of these stories illustrate a different aspect of the Greek word behind the English word translated meekness in verse 23.
There’s no English word that adequately expresses the Greek word translated “meekness” in Galatians 2:23 and elsewhere in the Bible. Meekness, as the King James Version translators chose, is the closest word in our English language to express it, but really you need a whole paragraph to communicate the original Greek word.
The Greek word is praótēs (prath”, #4240) (pronounced prah-ot’-ace) Today, our English word meekness suggests WEAKNESS, whereas praótēs expresses nothing of the kind. In fact, it suggests just the opposite.