Jesus continued to shock His audience as He shared the third Beatitude – “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” As the nation of Israel anticipated the coming Messiah, they did NOT anticipate Him to come with humility and meekness. They had been waiting for their savior to come and overthrow the bonds of the Roman Empire, setting up the Kingdom promised by the prophets. Into this setting Jesus arrives, stating that “the Kingdom of God has come near” (Mark 1:15). But it is so different from what they expected. What does it mean to be meek, and why is this trait so highly valued by God?
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5
If someone were to describe you as “meek”, how would that make you feel?
Webster’s Dictionary has three definitions for “meek”: 1) enduring injury with patience and without resentment; 2) deficient in spirit and courage; and 3) not violent or strong. Read Matthew 5:5. Do you think that any of Webster’s definitions fit what Jesus is saying?
Read Psalm 37:7-11. List five traits of a meek person found in this passage:
1 Peter 2:21-24 gives us Christ’s beautiful model of meekness. How does your view of meekness change in light of Christ’s example?
Read Galatians 5:22-23. Is “meekness” (translated here as “gentleness”) something that you can muster on your own?
In your opinion, what does it mean that those who are meek “will inherit the earth”?
Take some time this week to go through the following questions. If you answer yes to any or all of these questions, ask the Spirit to cultivate meekness in your life.
- Am I harsh in my treatment of others?
- Do I make sure I get mine first?
- Am I known as someone who should never be crossed?
- Am I willing to do menial tasks?
- Do I make people pay for their mistakes, sins, or failures?
- Does rage fill my soul such that life is a series of explosions?
- Am I unwilling to sacrifice (or put myself in second place) for others?
- Do people tip-toe around me because of my mood swings?
- Do I always have to be right?
FOR FURTHER STUDY
Read the following verses. How is meekness exemplified in these passages?
- Genesis 13:7-12
- Numbers 12:1-14
- 2 Samuel 16:5-13
- Romans 9:1-3
Can you be meek and angry at the same time (see James 1:19-21)? Can you be meek and have strong convictions (Galatians 2:11-14)?
In James 1:21, how does meekness (translated “humbly” here) transform the way we hear and receive Scripture?