Summary: If we will trade in our own demands and expectations for Christ’s meekness, we will discover a strength that can change this world.
Living in the Father’s Favor: The Unique Physique of the Meek
Matt. 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth
Intro: As we continue our study of the beatitudes or the blessings, hopefully we will see that the character Jesus calls us to reflects a higher standard than many will understand. This standard is consistent with the character and nature of God. If we desire to live with God’s blessing on our life and to truly seek His kingdom first, we must allow Him to begin to work His character into us- painful though it might be.
-A blessed Christian is someone who is poor in spirit by recognizing their own spiritual bankruptcy and their need for God; who mourns the losses of life, sorrows over sin, and weeps for the world. A Christ-follower is one who is meek; is hungry for the right things; is merciful to others; pursues purity; works to make peace in the midst of conflict; and is persecuted for trying to do what is right.
-Perhaps the best question we can ask of each beatitude is: What does this have to do with God? This is important because we’re called to show the goodness and glory of God to a watching world. When we live out the beatitudes, people can’t help but see that God is at work in our lives because these character qualities are not natural, but supernatural. John Piper writes: “Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount so that his Father would get the glory for the way the disciples lived.” We see the heart of Jesus in Matthew 5:16: “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” These character qualities are not strictly for our benefit or even for our blessing, but so that others may be attracted to our Father and begin to acknowledge Him for who He is.
-I’ve used a somewhat strange title today. The word physique can mean shape or profile. Since we are talking about meekness, we will seek to examine the profile of a meek person. What does it mean to be meek? Most people do not understand it and even fewer practice it. Here is the main truth about meekness I’d like you to remember:
Prop: If we will trade in our own demands and expectations for Christ’s meekness, we will discover a strength that can change this world.
Interrogative: What does a meek physique look like?
TS: I’d like to make a few observations about the strength of meekness and its reward.
I. The Secret Strength of the Meek
A. The Strength of Submission
-The word meek is often understood as being synonymous with the word weak. We tend to think of someone who is unable to stand firm on a position, is easy to persuade to the point of gullibility, and in general is a weak-minded, weak-willed person.
-Apparently, there is a group called "Dependent Order of Really Meek and Timid Souls." The acrostic spells "Doormats." The official insignia of the Doormats is a yellow caution light. Their official motto is: "The meek shall inherit the earth, if that’s okay with everybody!" Upton Diskson revealed the purposes of the society in a pamphlet called “Cower Power.” I can’t say that I recommend it.
-Meekness is anything but weakness. John Piper states: “Meekness is the power to absorb adversity and criticism without lashing back.” Others have defined it as strength tamed through self-knowledge and submission to God. Nelson’s Bible Dictionary defines meekness: “An attitude of humility toward God and gentleness toward men, springing from a recognition that God is in control.” Meekness is not being overly impressed by a sense of one’s self-importance; gentle, humble, considerate, meek (BDAG). The Greek historian Xenophon used the same word Jesus used for “the meek” to describe a horse that it is controllable or saddle broken.
-This Greek word for meek, praus [prah oos], was used to refer to domesticated animals. The word does not refer to a wild, unruly animal, but to a powerful horse or ox that was trained so it could be controlled by man. The word meek as Jesus used it refers to a strong person who is under God’s control. A meek person is one whose strength is controlled by God. God’s control shows up in our thoughts, words, actions, will, and emotions. The meek are those who submit, not to what others want, but to what God wants. One translation says it well: "Blessed are they who choose to obey."
-Submission is more than simply outward conformity, however. Submission is an inward quality that finds expression in humble obedience.
-A.W. Tozer once wrote, “The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson; but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels. In himself, nothing; in God, everything. That is his motto."