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Sermon Message


"The Meek Inherit"

Matthew 5:5
Theme: The pathway toward inheriting the earth is through meekness under God.

(Delivered Sunday, June 20, 2004 at Bethany Bible Church. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture is taken from the New King James Version.)


Over the past few weeks, we've been studying the portion of the Sermon on The Mount known as The Beatitudes. And we've been focusing on the first three of the beatitudes, because they share a common purpose. They teach us what it means, at the earliest stages, to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Their main intention is to show us that, to be a disciple, we must first come to terms with our great need for God's grace.

The first beatitude, you'll remember, taught us the very first step in our awareness of this need. It says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God" (Matthew 5:3). And in speaking these words, Jesus was teaching us that the man or woman who is truly on the pathway to blessing before God is the one who, before all else, realizes that he or she has nothing to offer God in order to earn His favor - that we come as "poor" sinners, who are utterly bankrupt in a spiritual sense. That's the first necessary attitude to have in becoming one of Jesus' disciples. And note the good news of His promise: that the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who come to Him in such need.

And the second beatitude builds on that sense of spiritual poverty. It says, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" (v. 4). And in saying this, Jesus was teaching us that His disciples not only come to God in the absolute poverty of their souls and in desperate need of God's grace; they also must come with genuine sorrow and mourning over the sins that made them so needy in the first place. And again, the good news is that those who confess and mourn over their sins in this way will be comforted. Jesus is able to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.

And now, we come to the third beatitude. And we wont rightly understand it if we don't see it in relation to the first two. People who truly recognize the poverty of their own souls before God, and who truly mourn over the grievousness of their sins, are people who have a proper perspective of themselves. They know that they cannot stand before God with a sense of pride and self-assertiveness. They no longer see themselves as having any right to be "in control", and they stop denying Him His rightful rule over their lives. They realize that, apart from God's grace, they are nothing.

I think the simplest way to put it is like this: a true knowledge of ourselves before God "tames" us. We no longer come to God with a demanding, self-serving, self-exalting attitude. We no longer come insisting on our rights or demanding that things be done our way. We are no longer "self-made" men and women. In fact, we stop thinking about ourselves altogether. We have taken "self" off the throne, and have sought to relinquish the rule and control of our lives to Jesus Christ. It's the opposite attitude from that which most naturally characterizes people; but as Jesus says, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5).

* * * * * * * * * *

A story that illustrates what Jesus is teaching us in this beatitude is found in the twentieth chapter of Matthew's Gospel. On this particular occasion, the mother of two of Jesus' disciples, James and John, came to Him with a request. "Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your kingdom" (Matthew 20;22).

This was a pretty bold thing to ask. And it was clear that James and John had put their mother up to it. They had heard Jesus' teaching about His future kingdom rule; and they wanted to get a jump on the other disciples in terms of their position in that kingdom. Jesus' response was not directed to the mother, but to the two disciples: "You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" And to this, they proudly stuck out their chests and insisted, "We are able" (v. 22).

Jesus let them know that they would, indeed, suffer these things; but He told them that the positions they were asking for were not His to give, but would go to those for whom it had been prepared by His Father. And in my mind's eye, I always think about how those two disciples had to walk back into the midst of the other twelve - humiliated over the way they had tried to elevate themselves and got put back into their places. The Bible even tells us that the other disciples were "greatly displeased". I'm sure they were!

But this became a teachable moment; and our Lord was masterful at taking advantage of teachable moments. He called all His disciples to Himself and said,

"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:25-28).

Now understand; Jesus was not rebuking the disciples for their desire to be "great". It's not wrong at all to want to be great in Jesus' kingdom. In fact, it's the best kingdom to be "great" in! He was simply rebuking them for the method they were using to achieve greatness. True greatness in His kingdom, He taught them, wasn't achieved through aggressively pursuing self-interests - through elevating "self". That's how the unbelieving people of this world seek it; but that's not how it's achieved in His kingdom. Instead, it is achieved through denying "self" and becoming the servant of others.

Just as Jesus had told them a short while earlier - taking a little child to Himself - "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3-4). That is, I believe, a great way to illustrate what Jesus is saying in this beatitude: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

* * * * * * * * * *

Of all the beatitudes, I suspect that this one is the one most easily misunderstood. Somehow along the way, we've learned to associate "meekness" with the idea of "weakness" - so that we understand Jesus to be saying, "Blessed are the passive;" or "Blessed are the victims;" or "Blessed are the wimps." But nothing could be further from the truth.

Would you like to know what my earliest encounter with the idea of "meekness" was? It was through the man who was my hero from the time I was a very little boy. In fact, this hero of mine had a reputation for being "meek". In fact, he's well known to you too. When I was a little boy, he was introduced to everyone every afternoon, during the mid-day reruns on television, as a "meek, mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet".

I was a devoted fan of the old black-and-white Superman television show; and even as a child, I knew that - whatever else Clark Kent was - he certainly wasn't "weak". He perhaps presented himself as a 'weakling'; but that was just to hide his real identity - just like anyone who had x-ray vision obviously didn't really need glasses! Sure; he'd behave 'meek and mild-mannered' in front of Lois and Jimmy and Mr. White; and he would never use his great powers to serve his own interests. But all the kids knew that, as soon as anyone was in trouble, he'd jump out the window and fly to their rescue! (And if you think that's weak, then you try it sometime!!)

The Greek word that's translated "meek" in Jesus' words (praus) is one that means "gentle" or "humble" or "considerate"; and all those ideas imply the idea of strength brought under control. The primary focus of the word isn't so much the basic nature of someone as it is their outward conduct.1 It's an inward virtue expressed in an outward behavior toward others.2

I think we can learn much about the meaning of true "meekness" from Ephesians 4:1-3. Paul wrote, "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness" (and the word "gentleness" is the same word as the one translated "meekness"), "with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love . . ." And so, a good definition of "meekness" is 'a humble manner toward others that is expressed in longsuffering and that is motivated by love.' D.A. Carson has defined it as "a controlling desire to see the other's interests advanced ahead of one's own."3

True "meekness", as Jesus means it in this beatitude, must be seen in the context of the other beatitudes. A truly meek person is someone (1) who has first gained a true view of their own neediness and the desperate sorrowfulness of their own sins before God (beatitudes 1-2); and (2) who then hungers and thirsts after righteousness as a gift of God's grace through faith (beatitude 4); and (3) who then, in response to having received God's grace through faith, goes on to live a life characterized by loving service to others (beatitudes 5-8). Obviously, that doesn't describe someone who's merely "weak". It describes someone whose self-asserting spirit has been broken and tamed by God; and whose strengths and powers have been brought by Him into the service of others through love.

And notice the blessing Jesus attaches to this beatitude; that the 'meek' will 'inherit the earth.' What a contrast this is to the attitude that prevails in the unbelieving world. The people of this world believe that the way you gain the world is through being tough, and pushy, and and self-assertive, and 'in control'. It believes you must look out for 'number one' if you're going to get ahead. It believes that it's a 'dog-eat-dog' world; and it's the strong 'dogs' - not the meek ones - that gain possession of it. It believes that the religion of Jesus is the religion for losers; and instead, it t holds to the "Win By Intimidation" method, the "Will to Power" philosophy, and the "I Did It My Way" approach. And as someone has suggested, while the people of this world may be content to let the 'meek' have heaven, there's no way they'd let them have the earth!

And yet, the Son of God tells us here that it's the meek - not the self-assertive, self-exalting, aggressive movers and shakers of this world - that end up gaining possession of the world itself. The prize is not available to be gained through an aggressive act of "taking". Instead, it's given as an inheritance to those who are characterized by the grace of true meekness.

* * * * * * * * * *

Let's look closer at this beatitude by asking . . .


The Bible gives us some great examples of what it looks like to be "meek" in God's sight. One of the greatest of these examples is Abraham.

Abraham was a man to whom God had pledge to give the promised land. It was to be his inheritance. God had called him away from his homeland, and brought him to the land of Canaan; and He told him, "To your descendants I will give this land" (Gen. 12:7). But Abraham's nephew Lot lived with him; and the flocks and herds of both of them became so great and prosperous that the land could no longer hold them both. In fact, Abraham's herdsmen and Lot's herdsmen began to fight with each other.

Now, the land of promise was on the west; and it was Abraham's land by God's own pledge. It was clearly given to him by God; and Abraham could have justly sent Lot far away from it. But Abraham had great confidence in God and had grown to be a meek man under God's hand. And so, he did a remarkable thing. He told Lot, "Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsman and your herdsman; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, I will go to the left" (Gen. 13:8-9). Lot, the Bible tells us, lifted up his eyes and saw the plain of the Jordan and chose to go east. He chose to move out toward Sodom. And after Lot separated himself from Abraham, God once again ratified His promise to give the land to Abraham.

Can you see Abraham's meekness displayed in this? Even though the land was his, he didn't try to control the outcome. He didn't manipulate the situation or assert his rights. He was meek in his approach to Lot; and he trusted God to keep His promise.

* * * * * * * * * *

Another great example of meekness is Moses. Moses was a remarkable man. God appeared personally to Moses in the burning bush. God didn't speak to Moses as He did to His prophets - that is, through visions or dreams. Instead, He spoke to Moses face to face; plainly, and not in dark sayings. He permitted Moses to see His form. And God commissioned Moses to be the deliverer of his people; using him to call down plagues upon Pharaoh. What a great man he was! And yet, the Bible tells us that "the man Moses was very meek, above all men which were upon the face of the earth" (Num. 12:3, KJV).

The particular reason that the Bible referred to him in this way was because his brother and sister, Aaron and Miriam, had spoken against him and had risen up against him because he had married a woman from Ethiopia. They were offended at his decision to marry this foreign woman; and they took this as an opportunity to oppose the authority God had given him and to elevate themselves. They said, "Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?" (Num. 12:2).

So, the Lord heard this challenge and called them to Himself. He appeared to them in the pillar of cloud, and in anger rebuked them by describing His unique relationship with Moses. And then, He struck Miriam with leprosy so that she became as white as snow. When Aaron saw it, he immediately confessed the foolishness of their rebellion, and pleaded with Moses not to lay this sin upon them. Moses cried out to God for her, and God healed her in response to his request.

And as we look at this incident, we see that Moses didn't respond to the challenge to his authority by trying to defend himself. He didn't try to call the plagues of the Egyptians down upon Aaron and Miriam. Instead, he trusted God and allowed God to vindicate him. And once God had done so, he then mercifully prayed for those who had opposed him. Considering the greatness of God's unique relationship with Moses, he truly was the meekest man on the face of the earth!

* * * * * * * * * *

Another outstanding example of meekness is given to us in the person of King David. On one occasion, David was on the run from the murderous threats of King Saul. As it happened, David and his men were hiding in a cave; and King Saul had gone into the cave without knowing that they were there. He was utterly at their mercy; and it was in David's power to secretly come upon the king and slay him. Some of David's men were even encouraging him to do so; saying, "This is the day of which the LORD said to you, 'Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you'" (1 Sam. 24:4). And yet, David restrained his men and spared the king's life out of a reverent fear of God.

Even though David spared Saul, Saul still sought to kill David. And so, on another occasion, David and his men were able to sneak up on Saul's army as it slept; and it was in their power once again to slay the king and many of his soldiers. And once again, one of David's men said, "God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day. Now therefore, please, let me strike him at once with the spear, right to the earth; and I will not have to strike him a second time!" (26:8). But David turned to him and said, "Do not destroy him; for who can stretch out his hand against the LORD's anointed, and be guiltless? . . . As the LORD lives, the LORD shall strike him, or his day shall come to die, or he shall go out to battle and perish. The LORD forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the LORD's anointed . . ." (vv. 9-11). What great meekness! What great power, brought under God's control!

There was another great display of meekness in David's story. After he had become king, his own son led a rebellion against him and he was on the run once more. And as he passed by a certain town, a man from the family of the house of Saul took advantage of David's sad situation. This man came out and cursed David; throwing stones at him, kicking dirt at him, calling him all kinds of names, and saying that he was being cursed by God. And one of David's men had enough of it. He said, "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please, let me go over and take off his head!" (2 Sam. 16:11).

It would have been so easy for David! All he would have had to do was give his approval - and his servant would have cut the man's head off immediately. And after all, he was the king; how dare anyone curse him like that! But instead, David refrained his servant; saying that he should let the man curse on. "It may be that the LORD will look upon my affliction, and that the LORD will repay me with good for his cursing this day" (v. 12). David was a great example of meekness - refraining to use his great power and authority to serve his own ends; and trusting God to do good to him and to deal with those who meant him evil.

* * * * * * * * * *

Of course, the greatest example of meekness we could ever find is the Lord Jesus Himself. He's the one whose coming was prophesied with these words: "Tell the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly [or "meek" as it is in the King James version], and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey'" (Matthew 21:5).

The Bible tells us of the meekness with which He came into this world; ". . . who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross" (Phil. 2:6-8). It tells us about the time when He was being betrayed into the hands of His enemies in the garden, and one of His disciples pulled out a sword to defend Him - and of how He commanded the disciple to put the sword away; "Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?" (Matthew 26:53-54).

The Bible tells us how deeply His own meekness was displayed at the cross. He was the Son of God in human flesh; and yet, as they crucified Him with mocks and taunts, He prayed for them. "Father, forgive them," He said, "for they do not know what they do" (Luke 23:34). The apostle Peter wrote of Him, saying that we should follow His example: "who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness - by whose stripes you were healed" (1 Peter 2:23-24). Could you find a greater example of meekness than that displayed for us in the life and manner of our Lord Jesus Christ?

* * * * * * * * * *

In each of these biblical examples, we see a two-fold focus of true meekness: in one sense, the focus is upon our relationship with God; and in another sense, the focus is upon our relationship with other people.

First, let's consider the focus upon God. True biblical meekness involves more than merely ceasing from an enthronement of self. It involves taking ourselves off the throne of our lives, in order that God might have His rightful place upon it.

Many scholars believe that Jesus' words in this beatitude are a reflection of Psalm 37:11; which says, "But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." And let me read the verses that proceed this one; and you'll see that the focus of David, who wrote this psalm, is clearly upon setting God upon the throne of his life. David wrote:

Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
And wither as the green herb.

Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret - it only causes harm.

For evildoers shall be cut off;
But those who wait on the LORD,
They shall inherit the earth.
For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more;
Indeed, you will look carefully for his place,
But it shall be no more.
But the meek shall inherit the earth,
And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace (Psalm 37:1-11).

Can you see in these words what's involved in the "meekness" that God blesses? There is to be trust in the LORD (v. 3, 4), a delighting of oneself in Him (v. 3), a committing of one's way to Him (v. 5), and a resting in Him (v. 7). And with this, there is to be a setting aside of fretting and envy (v. 1), the active doing of good (v. 3), living upon God's faithfulness (v. 3), trusting in Him to give us the desires of our heart (v. 4), depending upon Him to bring our way to pass and to bring our righteousness and justice to light (vv. 5-6), and ceasing from anger, and wrath and fretting (vv. 7-8). Plainly, a truly meek man or woman is one who has removed self from the throne, and has allowed God to take His rightful place there. This is the essential dynamic of true meekness - a willing surrender of the rule of our lives over to God!

Such a person who has surrendered the throne of his or her life to God exhibits meekness in that he or she is submitted to God's will instead of their own. Jesus demonstrated this for us when He said, "For I have come down down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me" John 3:38). A truly meek man or woman no longer seeks his or her own will, but the will of God. And with this, such a person is also surrendered to obedience to God's written word. They demonstrate true meekness in that they are open to God's will as it is revealed to them in the Scriptures. James writes, "Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21).

* * * * * * * * * *

Not only is there a focus upon God in true meekness, but there's also a focus upon our fellow man. It begins with true meekness before God; but such meekness also expresses itself before others. If we were truly meek before God, we would, for example, cease from placing our own interests before that of others. Paul wrote, "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others" (Phil. 2:3-4).

There would be a greater willingness to bear patiently with the faults and failings of others. Paul wrote, "We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification" (Rom. 15:1-2). He told Timothy, "And a servant of the LORD must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will" (2 Tim. 2:24-26).

Meekness would also involve a willingness and readiness to forgive those who have wronged us. It's incompatible with true meekness to hold on to resentment and bitterness. Jesus taught us, "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses" (Mark 11: 25-26).

And along with this, there would be a readiness to refrain from returning evil for evil, and a readiness to repay evil with good instead. Paul taught that we are not to seek to avenge ourselves, because vengeance belongs to God. Instead, we are commanded to leave room for the wrath of God, and "not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Rom. 12:19-21). Jesus Himself commands us, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 43-45).

* * * * * * * * * *

Now, does any of that sound weak to you? Obviously, true "meekness" is strength brought under control - a submission to God, with "self" dethroned. It is an outward expression of an inner virtue - a humble manner toward others that is expressed in longsuffering, and motivated by love.

Now, Jesus' promise is that those who are meek in this sense will be "blessed". This leads us to next ask . . .


Jesus gives us the reason for their blessedness: "for they shall inherit the earth". And this is the surprising turn-around of this beatitude. The very thing that the movers and shakers of this world are seeking to gain for themselves is given, instead, to those who refrain from moving and shaking! The very attitude that the 'high and mighty' ones of this world scorn is the very one that the Son of God rewards with all things!

To "inherit" something implies that someone is given something by someone else on the basis of relationship. The Bible tells us that God has appointed Jesus to be "heir of all things" (Hebrews 1:2); and because we are "in Christ", we share in His inheritance. "In Him," Paul writes, "also we have obtained an inheritance" (Eph. 1:11). He writes, that we are children of God by faith in Christ; "and if children, then heirs - heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together" (Rom. 8:17). The meek are inheritors of the earth, because they are joint heirs with Christ!

And we see this in two ways. First, there is a sense in which the meek (that is, true disciples of Christ) have this inheritance already. Paul wrote that all things are ours - that is to say, our possession right now! He wrote to the Corinthians, who were prone to focus on the greatness of the movers and shakers of this world; and said, "Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life for death, or things present or things to come - all are yours. And you are Christ's, and Christ is God's" (1 Cor. 3:21-23). He wrote to them and told them that he and the other apostles are as those "having nothing, and yet possessing all things" (2 Cor. 6:10).

You see; if Christ has all authority, and has conquered all, and is as sure to receive and reign and rule over all things as if He already possessed them; and if we are "in Christ, and are join heirs with Him; then it can be said that right now - at this moment - we possess the world along with Him! The whole earth is already ours. What contentment and security this gives us! James Montgomery Boice wrote about this and said, "With such a spirit I can cross the Alps, gaze upon the Bay of Naples, visit a museum, cross the wide expanses of the American continent, attend a concert, listen to the teaching of the Bible, or do anything else, and I can know that these things are mine as much as they are anyone's. And I can thank God for the people who maintain them for me."4

But we should also see this inheritance in an ultimate sense. Jesus gave this startling promise to His disciples:

"Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of his glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life" (Matthew 19:28-29).

We're given a picture of this in Revelation 20:4, at the time when Jesus will return to this earth with His saints and will begin to reign. We're told,

And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years (Rev. 20:4).

* * * * * * * * * *

So then, how do we become truly "meek"? Let me suggest three things:

First, we must come to terms with our true condition before God. Meekness involves submitting ourselves to God's evaluation of us, and believing that what He says about us is the truest description of our situation.

A key passage in this regard is Ephesians 2:1-7;

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of the our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:1-7).

God says that, apart from Christ, we are dead in our trespasses and sins. We're in a terrible and helpless condition. True meekness involves admitting the truth of God's evaluation of us. And if we admit the poverty of our soul, mourn over our sin, and trust in God's mercy through our faith in the cross of Christ, God says that we have been raised from the dead, and seated with Christ in heavenly glory. True meekness involves admitting the truth of that too. As someone has said, we are to see ourselves as God sees us - nothing more and nothing less. That's how we begin to become meek before Him.

Second, to be truly meek we must be ruled by the Holy Spirit. True meekness is not a natural trait There are, of course, some people who, apart from God's grace, "seem" to be meek manner; but that's just a natural aspect of personality - just as there are some dogs that are nice and other dogs that are mean. The meekness that receives the blessing that Jesus promises is something that is "superhuman", and isn't created through our own resolves or efforts or personality styles. It's a gift of God's grace through the ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit, who lives the life of "meekness" through us. As Paul wrote, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness [or "meekness"], self-control" (Gal. 5:22-23).

Finally, if we want to be truly meek, we must - above all else - learn from Jesus. Jesus Himself said, "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle [or "meek"] and lowly in heart . . ." (Matthew 11:29). The more we learn of Him, the more we become like Him; and the more we become like Him, the more His own perfect character of true "meekness" will be displayed in us.

1A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1930), vol. 1, p. 41.

2R.C.H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Matthew's Gospel (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1943), p. 188.

3D.A. Carson, The Sermon on The Mount: An Evangelical Exposition of Matthew 5-7 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1978), p. 20.

4James Montgomery Boice, The Sermon on The Mount (Grand Rapids: The Zondervan Corporation, 1972), p. 41.

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