For the next 10 weekdays, we'll be studying Jesus' teaching in Matthew 5 on what it means to be blessed. Follow along here on the blog, download the whole booklet here, or pick up a copy on Sunday. As part of our Festival, we'll be talking about "The Pursuit of Happiness" at church for the next three Sundays as well.
WHAT JESUS SAID
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
WHAT EARLY CHRISTIANS SAID
The meek are those who are gentle, humble, simple in faith and patient in the face of every affront. Imbued with the precepts of the Gospel, they imitate the meekness of the Lord, who says, “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart” (Matthew 11:29). Moses found the greatest favor with God because he was meek. It was written about him: “And Moses was the meekest of all people on earth” (Numbers 12:3).
--Chromatius (early fifth century)
A gentle person neither provokes evil nor is provoked by evil. … The meek one is more content to endure an offense than to commit one. For even as weeds are never lacking in a field, provokers are never lacking in the world. Therefore that person is truly gentle who, when he has been offended, neither does evil nor even thinks of doing it.
--Anonymous, in Homily on Matthew (fifth century)
“Inherit the earth, “I believe, means the land promised in the psalm; “You [Lord] are my hope, my portion in the land of the living” (Psalm 142:5). It signifies the solidity and stability of a perpetual inheritance. This is the peaceful life of the saints. The meek are those who … do not resist evil but overcome evil with good. Let the haughty therefore quarrel and contend for earthly and temporal things. But “blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the land.” This is the land from which they can never be expelled.
--Augustine of Hippo (early fifth century)
A LIFE OF WORSHIP
When I’m honest, “meek” is not a word that I get excited about. In my mind it brings up ideas of weakness, but Chromatius reminds us that some of the toughest men in Scripture have been called meek. My connotation of meek is usually “weak” but the truth is that we worship a meek God so it cannot mean “weak.”
Meekness requires incredible strength that willingly gives itself for others. Take a minute to praise God for being truly meek for us. Thank you, Jesus, for your meekness in strength!
A LIFE OF MISSION
When you’re honest, what comes to your mind when you think about meek? Would you consider it a compliment to be called “meek”? Why or why not? Living in meekness challenges us to find our strength in Jesus and then humbly give ourselves for the sake of others.
What would change for you this week if you decided to let Jesus be your strength and gave yourself up for others? Lord, help me to find my strength in you and to give myself for others as you did for me.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
Father Stewart will be speaking on this subject at Church of the Resurrection on September 26.
Thoughts from Johnmark Smith
What do you think? Post a comment below.