Lessons from the Beatitudes Part 3

Blessed are the Meek


The Beatitudes

Matt. 5:3 “Blessed are those who recognise they are spiritually helpless.

The kingdom of heaven belongs to them.

4 Blessed are those who mourn.

They will be comforted.

5 Blessed are those who are gentle (meek). They will inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God’s approval.

They will be satisfied.

7 Blessed are those who show mercy.

They will be treated mercifully.

8 Blessed are those whose thoughts are pure.

They will see God.

9 Blessed are those who make peace.

They will be called God’s children.

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for doing what God approves of.

The kingdom of heaven belongs to them.

- God’s Word Translation


The Blessing of God

The Beatitudes or ‘Blessed Sayings’ means ‘blessed is’ or ‘happy is’. Happy unfortunately has lost its meaning in modern times and is now used for a superficial moment of contentment. Someone has said that if would mean much more if we could qualify it by saying. “Oh how incredibly happy!” It means supremely blessed or fortunate. The One who is doing the blessing has our absolute good as his highest interest.


When God blessed Adam in Genesis 1:22 and Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3 he meant that everything else around them would be working together to bring about God’s favour.

We should live in a favourable and prosperous state that is not based on worldly circumstances but on divine conditions. These conditional blessings are frequent in Hebrew scriptures, including the wisdom literature, especially the Psalms (Job 5:17; Ps. 1:1; 32:1-2; 33:12; 41:1; 106:3; Prov. 8:34; 28:14).


The Beatitudes contrast Jesus' values with the values of the world


Jesus’ Values vs World’s Values

Poor in spirit Self confident, complete

Mourning Pleasure seeking, hedonistic

Meek Proud, self importance

Hunger for God Self made, self reliant

Merciful Assertive, forceful

Pure in heart Hidden, secretive

Peacemakers Competitive, aggressive

Persecuted Popular, crowd pleasing


Like most of Jesus’ teaching the beatitudes are contrary to the values that the world offers [1]. Leaders must serve if they want to rule; if they want to live they must first die; if they want to receive then they must to give away; if they want to be made worthy they should first recognise their unworthiness; if they want to be happy they first need make others happy.


Blessed are the Meek

In the church today there is little emphasis on humility or self-emptying. There are many Christian books on how to be happy, how to be successful, how to overcome problems, and so on. But sadly there are very few books in print on how to empty ourselves, how to deny ourselves, or how to take up our cross.


There are numerous commands about humbling ourselves (Matt. 18:4; 23:12; James 4:10; 1 Pet. 5:5).

The first step in experiencing humility is to turn our eyes away from ourselves and to look to God. It is the vision of an infinitely Holy God in all His sinless purity and perfection that enables us to see ourselves as sinners. To seek humility, we do not look at ourselves to find our faults, but to the perfection of God. Jesus invites the weary and overburdened of this world to take upon themselves his yoke and discover that he is “gentle and humble in heart.[2]


People are increasingly aggressive and unkind (including Christians) to each other. There is a real need to nurture a gentle and kind spirit.


Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.


Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.


Titus 3:1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.


Meekness is learning to be kind

๏ Meekness is learning to not take offence

๏ Meekness is is not being angry or aggressive

๏ Meekness is not allowing people to affect our mood


Meekness should not be confused with weakness. Jesus didn’t let people control him. He was quite willing to confront and challenge. He wouldn't let them ‘make him king’, he overturned the tables when His Father’s house was being desecrated, he strongly denounced the Pharisees because of their hypocrisy.


Meekness does not mean that we fail to challenge, correct, rebuke or speak the truth in love.


2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.


For They will Inherit the Earth’


Psalm 37:11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.


To inherit the land has a twofold application, present and future.

Those that are at peace with themselves will be at peace with their surroundings. The world will be enjoyed and appreciated so much more when we have a tranquil spirit.


Romans 8:6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;


Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.


His kingdom principles define and shape us. This is the meekness to which Jesus calls his followers. It is the meek who will “inherit the land and enjoy great peace”. It is those of a ‘gentle spirit’ (NEB), not the grasping or the greedy, who will receive from life its most satisfying rewards. The aggressive are unable to enjoy their ill–gotten gains. Only the meek have the capacity to enjoy in life all those things that provide genuine and lasting satisfaction.[3]


One day the earth will be transformed where the children of God will live. Those who are transformed by Christ will inherit the earth.


Amen


This was a joint teaching from Pastor Paul Meiklejohn and Charles Green

[1] The NIV Application Commentary, p223 [2] New International Bible Commentary, Matthew chapter 5. Electronic version. [3] Ibid

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