The typical mindset of the world is that you inherit the earth when you are bold, aggressive, and assertive. Through strong, determined, ruthless self-will, you obtain what you’re after. Hard charging executives often think this. People ambitious for power think this. But Jesus says, “it is the gentle who will inherit the earth.”
‘Gentle’ is often associated with weakness, but that’s not what the word means. The word James uses for ‘gentle’ means “strength under control.” In no way is it a sign of weakness. Aristotle said this word for gentleness is “the perfect means between anger and indifference.” And what does he mean by that? He’s talking about someone who gets angry when they see injustice. But when that person is wronged himself, he has incredible self-control. It takes some kind of man to be strong like that.
Jesus was a man like that. He cleaned house in the Temple when He saw them disrespecting God and treating the poor unjustly. But when He was being abused at the cross, He simply said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” That’s what He means by gentleness.
So, ‘inherit the earth’ does not mean real estate. It means honor and respect. Blessed are those who have great strength under control, for they will be honored and respected. And that is far better than any real estate you could ever inherit or earn.