Christmas is a month away and we are already immersed with carols. They’re pumped into the air as we shop, listen to the radio, or even get gas! What comes to mind when you think about baby Jesus? How about a poor family searching for a place to give birth, an animal feeding trough for a cradle, dirty sheep and shepherds in a field? Even Mariah Carey sings, “Jesus, Jesus, so lowly, meek, and mild.” I want to discuss what that word meekness really is and how we imitate Christ when we practice it.
This study of the Beatitudes has intrigued me every week. I almost want to retranslate them into something like this:
People will call you blessed by God when you are totally dependent on Him; that’s kingdom living!
People will call you blessed when you grieve over your sin; He will comfort you with forgiveness.
Today we approach meekness. Does it really mean to be weak, quiet, or even shy? No, quite the opposite. The Greek word is paraotes and the meaning is controlled power and strength. Did that surprise you? I was blown away.
As we navigate through these verses from Matt. 5 we find a definite progression. We move from needing God into experiencing sorrow over our sin realizing He has forgiven us. At that stage Jesus teaches us that we naturally will progress into the area of forgiving others. That’s where true meekness comes into play. We have the power to forgive those who have hurt us, which brings peace, or to stay in bitterness which brings torment. Peace-torment, hmmm; you don’t have to be a rocket scientist.
Jesus was truly meek because He retained His sovereignty while simultaneously becoming human. He may have seemed lowly and mild but He was a King. His authority to judge and make decrees was still His DNA but He chose to keep it under His Father’s control and obey Him. This controlled power or strength, meekness, belongs to us as well. We have the power to judge others and declare guilt or we can choose to live like Jesus and declare leniency even when they don’t deserve it. Did you catch that? They don’t deserve it: news flash! Neither did you.
When we forgive others, showing clemency, in judicial terms, Jesus teaches that we inherit the earth. Inheritance is a gift, usually given to family, not based on our good works or perfection but on family rights and privileges (read the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32). God says to you today, “You are my child and when you forgive those who hurt you, everything I have created, the whole earth, belongs to you.” That stirs up a fresh love for God and others in my spirit.
What name does the Holy Spirit bring to mind as you read this? Take a moment and ask Him. God desires you to inherit the earth, walk in the kingdom, and live a victorious life, however, it requires meekness.