Chuck Foreman – Teaching / Missions Pastor
When Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5) some of us think, “Well, there just went my blessing! Ain’t NO WAY I’m gonna be like that. I just can’t!”
But even though we don’t like the image of a wimpy, meek guy, or even a wimpy, meek gal, if we’re basically good-willed, we hope that someone would at least stick up for them, don’t we? Hopefully we would.
What we need to see, is that this is exactly what Jesus is doing here in the Beatitudes. Dallas Willard puts it like this:
The Beatitudes take those who, from the human point of view,
are regarded as most hopeless, most beyond all possibility of God’s blessing or even interest,
and exhibit them as enjoying God’s touch and abundant provision from the heavens.
Jesus, in the Beatitudes is giving us a glimpse of God’s Upside Down Kingdom. It’s upside down to us, only because we don’t have it right side up! It’s a new day w/Jesus! Now thru him the most unlikely people are in on God’s blessing!
An unmistakable focal point of God’s Story is that He is the defender of the weak and powerless. Contrary to what we’ve all been told, God does help those who don’t or can’t help themselves!
Come w/me back to the story… (Check out these passages: Deuteronomy 10:18; Psalm 10:17-18; Psalm 68:5; Proverbs 23:10-11 (It’s pretty clear, when you pay closer attention to His Story, that God lines up with the weak, not the strong.)
As much as we don’t like the idea of being meek—the weak, powerless doormat for the strong— can you imagine Jesus saying instead, “Blessed are the macho and glamorous; they will have everything they want because they are strong enough to make it or take it!” We know that’s not how God does things
However, the religious system of Jesus’ day left/neglected the poor, hurting multitudes, but Jesus invited them all into his kingdom. Anyone was as welcome as another, especially those who never thought they would be. They still are. That is the Good News of the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus brought to earth!
Praeis praeiV is the word Matthew chose to represent the Aramaic word Jesus probably used in vs 5.
It means gentle, mild, meek.
- Same word Jesus uses to describe himself when he said, Matthew 11:28-29
- Praeis praeiV translates the Hebrew word used by Zechariah (9:9), quoted by Matt in Matthew 21:5
- It’s the word used to describe Godly women, 1 Peter 3:3-4
- And Paul’s conduct among the Thessalonians, 1 Thessalonians 2:6-7
The people, into whose faces Jesus was gazing, when he said, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth,” were not wealthy land owners. They were the diseased, pain ridden, demon possessed, paralyzed and seizing outcasts from Galilee and Syria who were coming to him for healing. They were caught up in the conflict between the Jewish Zealots and the Roman government over political/military control of Palestine—their land!
But Jesus had a different idea of who had rights to the land. Neither being the racial descendants of Abraham or powerful enough to conquer, qualified anyone to inherit the land, let alone the entire earth.
Instead God would give it to those who could not, nor would they ever grab it for themselves—The Meek.
Jesus brought the blessing of heaven to earth! To the least expecting, to those unable to acquire, to the powerless and downtrodden, he would give the entire earth as their inheritance. One day God will bless those who do not simply bless themselves and who do not appear to be blessed now. The meek will be given what the strong have taken.
So what does all this mean for us? Perhaps, you can choose meekness even if you’re strong. We don’t have to scratch/claw/grab for ourselves what God is perfectly able to give us. The meek, humble & gentle are not w/out an inheritance!)
Fortunate are you meek and powerless, for you will inherit the earth. Right On!