Summary: The only thing about Christmas that bothers me is that people see Jesus as a baby, meek and mild but they don’t see Him for all that He really is.
23/12/09 Pastorross | public entry | tags: , Gentleness, Self Control, Quiet strength, Matthew 5 | report
Matthew 5 - Part 4 - Gentle Jesus, meek and mild - NOT!
The only thing about Christmas that bothers me is that people see Jesus as a baby, meek and mild but they don’t see Him for all that He really is.
It always used to bother me that I was called a gentle man. I longed to be seen as strong and courageous and visionary, but people mainly see me as gentle. No-one has seen me as the superhero who saves the spiritual day at the last moment, anointed by God to raise the dead and impress people with my abilities of words of knowledge. It doesn’t come easily for me to stand out in a crowd. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve stood over the dead and prayed for resurrection life, but as yet no-one has responded. Only a few of the sick have been healed. And I have only quietly made a difference, only gently disturbed the status quo. Not enough in my eyes, despite the dream of being a world changer. So when Jesus says...
BLESSED ARE THE GENTLE - for they shall inherit the earth,
...I wonder how? Is this a prophecy, because we haven’t yet got very many GENTLE people who have inherited the earth? Or is it the tree huggers who will inherit it when the earth is destroyed by politicians? Why did Jesus teach a discipleship class in gentleness up on the mountain. Big tough men who were fishermen and businessmen and rebels!
Let’s explore the possibilities because Matthew has only left us with a teaching point, like a powerpoint slide, that by itself can’t be understood. Does the Bible give us any indication of what this can possibly mean? Is it speaking about "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild"? If it is, that’s not the Jesus I see. I see Him in Revelation as the judge of the world, and in Matthew 4 as someone who wins the battle against Satan’s temptations, the One who overturns the money tables at the temple and calls people "Hypocrites, whitewashed tomb stones, vipers!" Not so gentle and meek and mild! So what is Jesus talking about?
Apparently the word "Gentle" or "meek" is the word "praeis" in the original Greek language. It means "to have a strong, but tender and humble, life. It is a strong yet teachable spirit. It is not being weak, bowing or spineless" (POSB Commentary on Matthew). Now that’s more like it! It’s like leader of the Autobots, what’s his name - Optimus Prime - Gentle but has authority! What do you mean you don’t know what I am talking about. "Transformers, Robots in disguise!". OK, so it wasn’t the best illustration.
Really, Jesus is the only man who depicts Gentle in this strong sense of the word. He has the victory of a conqueror but the self-control and discipline not to be revengeful and arrogant. He takes His lead from the Holy Spirit.
So am I Gentle in the real sense of the word? That’s the question, Lord? Am I self controlled and disciplined, in my words, passions, urges, and behavior? I know I want to be. But I also have a long way to go. Lord teach me about being Gentle
1 Peter 2:23 (NLT) speaks of how Jesus was gentle,...
"He did not retaliate when He was insulted, nor threaten revenge when He suffered. He left His case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly."
2 Timothy 2:24 (NLT) says...
"A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people."
So how shall the Gentle inherit the earth? God leaves the earth to those who are gentle apparently. I could use some land of late.
Where those in their pride and arrogance seek to take over the earth, in the end it is left to those who have the strength of a gentle controlled spirit, who are willing to obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit in response to the events of life rather than react emotionally and viciously. It happens bit by bit as we respond to the world with a gentle strength. It is the strength of a horse brought under the control of a rider. The power is there but it is usefully bridled by the One whom we call Saviour of the World.
God bless you Church as you exercise the gentle strength of our Saviour in the everyday events of life and bit by bit reclaim the earth for God.