Summary: 3rd Sermon of eight on the Beattitudes.
The Perfect Standard For Life
Strength Under Control - Part 3 of 8
Reading: Matthew 5v5
I am reminded of the scene in the movie, The Passion of the Christ where Jesus appears in front of Pontius Pilate.
Jesus appears to be the weak one, a poor Jew caught up in the political games of the Romans those days.
He seems to be frail and powerless, a man who seems to be destroyed from the face of the earth.
Then you get Pilate, - he represented the power of the Roman government.
The Roman government was probably the strongest in those days and if you belonged to them, you had it made.
He even tells Jesus he has the power to let Him free.
…and so here we have two people on the opposite ends of strength and gentleness.
We have Jesus, the prisoner, the man who seems to the weakest who was in actual fact a free man.
He was in absolute control, in fact He made the heavens and the earth.
Then on the other side we have Pilate, the Roman governor, - he was a prisoner of his own pride and he could not even control his own soul, and he had no inheritance.
In other words, when Jesus spoke the words of “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”, we must understand that Jesus actually lived these words.
In fact, Jesus liked teaching people the truth if the Kingdom of heaven, by speaking about opposites.
He said, “The last will be first, giving is receiving, dying is living, losing is finding, least if greatest, poor is rich, weakness is strength, serving is ruling”.
…and the beauty of these so-called contradictions are that it always catches our attention.
In other words, maybe it would have been far better to say it like this perhaps, “Blessed are the proud, the intimidating, for they will inherit the earth”.
Yet we have to understand that Jesus is not teaching us about how the fittest will survive, but how the meek will inherit the earth.
“But that sounds like a contraction anyway, doesn’t it?”
I mean, “How in the world will the meek go on and inherit the earth?”
Life does not work that way, am I right?
We are taught about, “The survival of the fittest”, am I right?
Just look at who occupies the executive seats in businesses, - the strong, the self-sufficient,.. the capable, the aggressive, the ambitious”.
The world belongs to the superman’s and the superwoman’s of this world.
The last thing these people want to be known for, is how meek they are.
…and so it seems that Jesus has made a mistake here.
It seems as if Jesus has not kept record of how things in our world actually work.
It seems as if He’s out of touch with our world.
…and yet Jesus knows what He’s talking about, and so we have to investigate it, because it gives us the power for living and dying.
What Does, “Blessed are the Meek”, Mean?
Again, like the previous two weeks I want us to understand this by looking at what it does not mean.
a. First of all, we must understand that the word here “meek”, does not mean “weakness”.
b. It does not mean that you’re supposed to be spineless or timid or willing to have peace at any cost.
In other words, it does not mean that you could be pushed over by a wet noodle.
c. It does not mean you cannot make up your mind, or that you have a lack of confidence.
d. It does not mean that you’re shy or that you have a withdrawn personality.
e. It does not mean that you’re simply a nice person.
Now, in classical Greek the word “meek” was used to describe tame animals.
The original Greek that the Bible was written in also has more or less the same meaning.
…and so meekness involves “self-control”.
In other words, it’s when you are able to balance your anger under stressful times.
It seems to mean, “strength under control”.
So the meek person is strong, but also gentle and mild and in control.
Jesus viciously defended the glory of His Father in heaven, but He also gave Himself up in sacrifice for others.
It’s like the time when Jesus was hanging on the cross, busy dying for our sins.
In 1 Peter 2v23 it says that Jesus, “…never answered back when insulted; when he suffered he did not threaten to get even; he left his case in the hands of God who always judges fairly. (LB).
He could have called down all the angels in the heavens to help Him, because He had all the power to do so, but He did not because He trusted in the power of His Father in heaven to raise Him from the dead.