Summary: Who are the meek? What is meekness all about? Why is it the meek that inherit the earth? Meekness cries out "Not my will but yours be done!" It bows the knee to God and doesn't look back. The meek do not ask, "How can I be served?" but rather, "How c
Reined In and Ramped Up - Matthew 5:5 - August 7, 2011
Series: Kingdom Life – A World Turned Upside Down #3
Over the last several weeks that we have been together we’ve been looking at the Sermon on the Mount; specifically, at the Beatitudes as found in Matthew chapter 5. I will ask you to turn to Matthew 5 again this morning as we take a look at the 3rd of the Beatitudes that Jesus has given us. As you are turning there, let’s do a bit of a quick review so that we’re all on the same page. Each of the Beatitudes starts with what word? …. That’s right – each Beatitude begins with the word “Blessed” which is a word that describes, “a deep seated happiness.” The world around us is perpetually seeking after an enduring happiness and not finding it; Jesus tells us where true and lasting happiness is to be found.
And the first thing He tells us here is that true and lasting happiness will be experienced by those who are poor in spirit. “Blessed are those who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Now, we cannot make ourselves poor in spirit. You can’t wake up one day and say, “today is the day that it’s going to happen.” It’s not the work of a man or a woman – it is the work of the Spirit of God that opens our eyes to the reality of our spiritual poverty. That poverty has been there all along – we just haven’t recognized it for what it is. But when the Holy Spirit begins to work in a person’s life, as He opens our eyes to see God as He is, it’s then that we begin to see ourselves as we really are. When are lives are seen against the backdrop of God’s glory, and His holiness, we begin to clearly see the depth of our spiritual poverty and we begin to understand just how totally dependent we are on the grace of God for our salvation. We bring nothing to the table when it comes to salvation. That’s why the apostle Paul says “none can boast” because salvation is a work of God from first to last.
Now as we come to terms with the reality of our spiritual depravity, and of how offensive our sin is to a Holy God, there is a grief that begins to well up within us. We mourn our sin. We see it as God sees it. We see it in all it’s ugliness and we abhor it. We are filled with sorrow – not a worldly sorrow which is here today and gone tomorrow – but a godly sorrow that leads to repentance. We are so offended by the reality of our sin, that we mourn it, and we are so deeply grieved by it that we turn from that sin to the wholeness that is found in God alone. That is why Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” We are comforted as we find healing and forgiveness and new life in Jesus.
Which brings us to the third Beatitude; Matthew 5:5, read it out loud with me, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. ” (Matthew 5:1–5, NIV) When we began this series I told you that Jesus would turn our perception of the world upside down. We have seen that already as we’ve looked at the first two Beatitudes and we see the same thing here in the 3rd Beatitude as well. The things the world values are not the same things that God values.
Jesus proclaims that it is the meek who are blessed – but the world despises meekness. They equate it with weakness, and if there is something our culture hates, it is weakness. Survival of the fittest, right? The whole theory of evolution that people have bought into is based on this idea that the weak will perish and only the strong will survive. This is the worldview by which so many live their lives. This is their belief system and it impacts the way they live.
But the world’s got it wrong. Meekness, isn’t the same, as weakness. Someone once said that “meek” is the untranslatable word. By that they meant that there is no one word in the English language that captures the full meaning of the Greek word that we translate as, “meek.” That’s why in our Bibles it’s translated in different ways in different verses. In some places it will be rendered as “gentle,” in others, “humble,” and in others still, as, “meek.” All three of those words share something in common but they each convey a slightly different image as well. If you combined them all together we would begin to understand this meekness that Jesus is talking about. And that meekness is not the same as weakness.