Blessed Are The Meek, For They Shall Inherit The Earth
The Beatitudes, from the sermon on the mount, are some of the most popular passages in the New Testament. Not only do they introduce the whole sermon on the mount, perhaps Jesus’ most famous sermon, but they also have deep meaning in themselves. Each sentence applies deeply to our lives, offering wisdom and grace for every Christian. If you want to learn more about the beatitudes in general, check out the introduction.
The title, The Beatitudes, is the first word of the Latin translation of this passage. “Beatitude” comes from the Latin word that means, “Blessed.” They truly do bring us blessing when we study them. This series will look at the blessings that Jesus gives us through the beatitudes. We will also look at some illustrations, symbols from stained glass windows, to help guide our exploration.
One of the most common images for believers is a sheep. Psalm 23 describes God’s relationship between himself and believers is like the shepherd to his sheep. Jesus describes God’s desire to save his people in the parable of the lost sheep.
Jesus describes himself as the shepherd to the sheep in John 10.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd.
Notice who the active parties are in Jesus’ teaching. There’s the shepherd, the hired hand, and the wolves. When the wolves menace the sheep, the shepherd flies into action. There’s only one group that isn’t active at all: the sheep.
Sheep are lowly. They huddle together, hoping that their numbers will keep them safe. They’re weak. They don’t have claws or sharp teeth. They can’t fight back when they’re attacked. They’re not clever enough to outwit the wolves nor are they fast enough to run away. When the wolf comes, the sheep have no defense.
That’s what it means to be meek. Being meek isn’t a state of mind or a way about thinking. Being meek is a condition in which someone is unable to defend themselves, take care of themselves, or act for themselves.
Psalm 37 describes the relationship between the Christian and the evil doer.
Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
Christians shouldn’t worry about wickedness in the world. When we see evil people succeed, we shouldn't be concerned. We just wait, because God has it under control.
The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
God defends the the Christian. He protects them from evil, from people who wish them harm. He takes care of his people.
Psalm 27 says something similar. The Psalmist talks about all the dangers he faces and the problems around him. There are evil doers who want to destroy him.
What does the Psalmist suggest he do? He shouldn’t destroy him or fight against him. He should simply wait.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
The meek wait for the Lord to save them. They wait for God to do his job, what he promises to do.
We Christians have no power to save ourselves. We can’t defend ourselves from the devil, the world, or from our own sinful nature. We have no power at all, so we need to wait for God.
That is why Jesus became meek himself. He became a human being just like us. He could be hurt. He could get sick. He could die.
When evil doers came against him, he didn’t do anything. When the falsely accused him at his show trial in front of the high priest, he was silent. When they called him a traitor and rebel before Pontius Pilate, he said nothing. When they beat him, whipped him, and insulted him, He didn’t do anything.
He didn’t even do anything when they nailed him to the cross. He could have fought, but no. Jesus just took it. When they insulted him from the foot of the cross, he didn’t insult them back. He forgave them. Jesus waited for God to save him.
And he did. The Father raised Jesus from the dead, and he gave him the name that is above all names that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Because of Jesus, we, the meek, inherit the earth. We can’t defend ourselves, but Jesus can. We can’t fight against sin and Satan, but Jesus can. We can’t keep ourselves holy, but Jesus can.
There is only one thing we can do. Wait. We have to wait for the Lord to save us. When Christians are arrested or killed for the faith, we wait. When we are insulted or rejected for Jesus, we wait. When people hurt us, we wait. We have only one move: we wait for the Lord.
And he will come. He will come on the clouds. He will come when the last trumpet sounds. He will come with the voice of an archangel, and he will raise the dead from their graves. Then we will live forever with him.
But there’s more. We won’t just live forever. We will reign with Christ over all of creation. 2 Timothy 2:11-13 says, “The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him.” We will share Jesus’ glory and honor for all eternity.
So, Christians have one job: we wait for the Lord. We wait with trust and hope, knowing that he will save us. That’s it. We wait until Jesus returns to save us.
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