During His short, three-year ministry, Jesus did a lot of talking. He talked to fishermen, to religious men, to businessmen, and to hurting men (and women, of course). He spoke in synagogues, in marketplaces, beside pools and along hillsides. And it's at this last location where Jesus delivered what many call "the most famous sermon ever recorded"… the Sermon on the Mount.
It's as a part of that sermon that we find the famous beatitudes… you know, the "blessed are…" phrases. Blessed are the peacemakers… Blessed are the pure in heart. You get the picture. And tucked away neatly in the middle of all of those is one that I think may be the most misunderstood of all…
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. ~ Matthew 5:5
Blessed are the meek… Hmmm. According to Webster, "meek" is defined as patient, gentle and kind. However, those are not necessarily the attributes that pop into some people's minds when they think of "meek." I know I've heard some pretty off-centered definitions in the past. They've used words like weak, shy, spineless, and my all-time favourite, submissive. Of course, there's nothing wrong with submissiveness that comes from a ‘Christ-like servant's' heart. It's when submissive is coupled with weak and spineless that the alarms should go off. It's as if to be genuinely meek means to be knocked down a notch or two (or ten!) on the world's strength-o-meter. But maybe, just maybe, as soon as we start equating meekness with weakness, it's time to remember just Who is doing the talking.
These are Jesus' words - not those of some corner-hugging, emotionally-train-wrecked-afraid-of-confrontations person. This is Jesus. Demon-commanding Jesus. Storm-controlling Jesus. Hell-defeating Jesus. God-in-flesh Jesus. And if there ever was a Man who could write the book on power, it would be Him. In fact, He did.
It's when we begin to dig into His Book (the Bible) that we discover what we can expect when we give God's Spirit control. Look at the first chapter of the book of Acts…
"…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you." ~ Acts 1:8
…you will receive power. Hmmm… What else can we expect from God's Spirit?
"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." ~ Galatians 5:22-23
Patience. Kindness. Gentleness. All of this from the very same Source that fills us with power. It all goes hand-in-hand. Our mighty Source is all-powerful, all-knowing, holy, just and forgiving. And that's just for starters. He is Creator, Redeemer, Comforter, Companion, and so much more. He came in the flesh and lived among us. He is Jesus, our ultimate Example of true meekness: loving gentleness flowing from mighty strength.
So the next time we bemoan the attribute of meekness, just remember that if you're thought of as meek, you're not only blessed, you're in pretty good company!