The Beatitudes, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew (5:3-12), are a series of blessings pronounced by Jesus Christ during His Sermon on the Mount. Among these, the third Beatitude, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5), stands out as a profound and paradoxical statement that challenges worldly wisdom and values. This article aims to explore the biblical understanding of meekness and its significance in Christian life.
Meekness, as portrayed in the Bible, is not synonymous with weakness or passivity. Instead, it is a virtue that combines humility, gentleness, and self-control, underpinned by a deep trust in God. The meek are those who, despite having the power to assert themselves, choose to submit to God’s will and serve others. This essay will delve into the biblical examples of meekness and its implications for Christians today.
The Bible presents numerous examples of meekness, with Moses and Jesus Christ being the most prominent. In Numbers 12:3, Moses is described as “very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.” Despite his leadership position and the power he wielded, Moses was humble before God and patient with the people he led. His meekness was not a sign of weakness but a testament to his strength of character and reliance on God.
Meekness of Jesus
Jesus Christ, the epitome of meekness, exemplified this virtue throughout His life and ministry. In Matthew 11:29, Jesus invites His followers to learn from Him, saying, “I am gentle and humble in heart.” His meekness was evident in His willingness to submit to God’s will, even unto death on the cross (Philippians 2:8). Moreover, His gentle and compassionate dealings with people, especially the marginalized and sinners, underscore His meekness.
For They Shall Inherit The Earth
The promise attached to meekness in the third Beatitude, “for they shall inherit the earth,” is a radical reversal of worldly expectations. It echoes Psalm 37:11, which assures that the meek will enjoy peace and prosperity. This promise is not necessarily about material wealth but about spiritual blessings and the ultimate inheritance of the new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1).
“Blessed are the meek” is a powerful statement that challenges Christians to cultivate humility, gentleness, and self-control, following the examples of Moses and Jesus Christ. Meekness, far from being a sign of weakness, is a virtue that reflects strength of character and deep trust in God.
The promise of inheriting the earth serves as a reminder that God’s blessings often defy worldly expectations and values. Thus, meekness is not just a virtue to be admired but a lifestyle to be pursued by those who seek to live according to God’s kingdom values.