By Brooke Holt
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5
Of all the Beatitudes, this one is the most misunderstood. What does it look like to be meek? Is meekness comparable to weakness? If so, none of us want weakness! We want strength, power, and influence. So why would Jesus tell his disciples the meek would inherit the earth?
Jesus exemplified what it means to be meek when he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Jesus, as the promised Messiah, the King of Kings, could have ridden into Jerusalem on a white horse. Conquering kings rode into the city on their white horses after conquests in the battlefields. In times of peace, these kings often came out to the people as one of them riding on a donkey. Jesus' entry on a donkey exemplified humility and peace as well an identification with his people. This first coming of Jesus would not be to conquer but to lay his life down on the cross.
In Philippians 2, Paul wrote about this humility of Jesus: "Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" (Philippians 2:5-8). Jesus was God incarnate. He had every right to be worshipped and obeyed, yet as he often said, he did not come to be served but to serve. Jesus modeled what it means to be meek; while he had all power given to him by the Father, he chose to surrender that power and live in the flesh.
To be meek is not to be weak. To be meek is to surrender one's power; it is strength under control. Think of a great stallion whose power is restrained to run a race or serve in the fields instead of running free. The stallion has incredible power, but its owner harnesses and uses that power. Jesus called his hearers to this kind of power - a power surrendered to him and to his Father. These men and women could use their strength and power in the world to assert themselves, or they could surrender that power to the Lord to be used as he determined and willed - just like Jesus.
The meek shall inherit the earth. As believers, we are equipped and called to live powerful lives unto the Lord, but it is a power we surrender to him and to his will. Can we stop asserting and start surrendering?
What is your impression of meekness? Can you think of examples of people who exemplify what it means to be meek? What would it look like for you to surrender your power to the Lord today? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Advent is like celebrating a national holiday in a foreign land — like observing the 4th of July as an expatriate. Locals do not understand the fuss. Advent is equal parts cherishing and missing home. AND it’s a mix of loving this world while getting ready to leave it behind. This makes Advent the most human and most complex celebration we have. Isaiah the prophet, David the psalmist, Paul the apostle, John the Baptist, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus all lived in one world and longed for the next. They loved this world and loved the world to come even more. In these 28 devotions in Face the Dawn, join them in wearing the paradox of Christianity- this world may be our home, but that world is HOME.
To see all of our Advent resources, click here.
Comments will be approved before showing up.