Matthew 5:1-12 — Meekness Is the Most Powerful Quality of the Christ Follower? What? Meek? You’re Kidding?

Posted: September 24, 2015 in Gospel of Matthew, The Beatitudes

Matthew 5:1-12 — Is Jesus saying that the wimps will inherit the earth? Wordly definitions of the word, meek, do not bring forth images of power, confidence, and self-assurance. Meekness in a worldly definition is “humbly patient or docile, as under provocation from others; overly submissive or compliant; spiritless; tame.” In what we see in the world, it is the people with the opposite of meekness that run the world. It is the powerful, the aggressive, these are the ones who rule the earth.

We have seen it throughout history that it is the confident and aggressive that rule. People who impose their will upon others are those that advance in the world as we know it. Nations who are aggressive impose their will upon other nations. It is just the way of the world. Jesus comes along and says the opposite. What does he mean?

Meekness is humility toward God and toward others. It is having the right or the power to do something but refraining for the benefit of someone else. When we are meek we realize that we are not the center of the universe and everything does not revolve around us. When realize that we are not the center of the universe and that God is the one who is, it is humbling. When we realize that all peoples are individuals with their own rights and that they are not just here to be backdrops and window dressing for our own universe, then we find the beginning of meekness. To be meek is to recognize God as being far greater than we are and through that we reduce the size of our self-centered egos. When we realize that other people have just as much right to the air that we breath, it elevates their right to existence and reduces ours to its proper proportion. Being meek helps us put ourselves in proper perspective.

Meekness also models the humility of Jesus Christ. If anyone had the right or the power to to do whatever He wanted but refrained from doing it, Jesus would be the one. Jesus was God in the flesh. He is God. He is co-equal with the Holy Spirit and the Father. According to gotquestions.com,

“As Philippians 2:6–8 says, ‘Jesus, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!’ Being ‘in the very nature God,’ Jesus had the right to do whatever He wanted, but, for our sake, He submitted to ‘death on a cross.’ That is the ultimate in meekness.”

If we are to be like Christ, we are not to take advantage of the power that we have and lord it over others. We refrain. We hold back. We understand the needs of others. We feel the needs of others. We care about the needs of others. We place their needs ahead of our own. We find joy in caring for the needs of others. Love has won more hearts in this world that aggression ever has. Sure aggression has led to the establishment of earthly kingdom that last a while but they all fall. Jesus changed the world forever by His meekness, by His setting aside of His personal glory to do us the ultimate favor.

Meekness is the hallmark quality too of effectively sharing the gospel. The apostle Peter tells us that we should always be ready with answer for the hope that we have but that we should do so in gentleness and meekness. This was a question that my life group pondered last night as we started our session with a reprise of the discussion from the week before – how to be a Christian in a world that is increasingly hostile toward the gospel? How do we stand firm in what we believe but yet love the person whose beliefs and actions are in opposition to God’s Word. We are to be meek and gentle. We are to share the gospel in love. We love people and pray for them fervently to see the truth of the gospel. We engage them day to day. We do not beat them with the Word. We get to know them. We develop trust. We actually care about them. We are there for them. We live out love for them. It is only when people know that we love them genuinely and honestly that we can effectively share the truth of the gospel with them.

Just as God loves us even though He knows we daily disappoint Him, we should be gentle with those whose behaviors and actions are against God’s Word. Meekness, gentleness, love, and patience and prayer have won more people to Christ than any street corner evangelist and any street corner protester. Working daily and tirelessly with people who obviously are living sinful lifestyles has won more to Christ than standing in an ivory tower and saying I am right and you are wrong and you are going to hell. Help us Lord to care so deeply for others in meekness that the thought of them going to hell scares the bejeebies out of us. Help us to care so much that the thought of someone going to hell spurs us to action to get into the dirt and grime of their lives and help them to see the truth of the gospel through the love that we show them.

May we seek meekness as we become more like Christ. May we be in the streets like Him. May we love the world so much that we are willing to do anything to love others to the cross. That’s meekness, Lord! May we see saving others from an eternity in hell as so far greater than any personal need that we have that we set aside our own glory for the eternal well-being of others, just as Jesus did. Amen.

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