“Blessed are (happy are) the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” – Matthew 5:5
What in the world is meekness and how can ‘meek’ people be happy? I will confess, even I wasn’t so sure at first. Looking at the teaching of Jesus, everything He says seems to challenge us to search for true happiness in places often overlooked. But still – meekness? Happy are the meek?
What kid grows up with the goal of becoming meek? How many people do you know who put “more meekness” on their list of New Year’s resolutions? This is a word difficult to get excited about because it’s often totally misunderstood. Part of the reason is because of what it sounds like – meekness sounds like weakness. There is guilt by association. I don’t want to be weak, so I don’t want to be meek.
But, there is nothing weak about meekness! In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The word ‘meek’ was often used in the context of taming or training a wild animal. It is strength that is brought under control. It’s the idea that strength doesn’t have to be dangerous or threatening, but can be incredibly useful, even a blessing. This is a strength that promotes security rather than elicits fear. It is not a LOSS of power and strength. It is a power of strength that is brought into submission under the authority of a trainer or a leader.
This is how Jesus described Himself. Jesus is saying, “I will use My strength to carry your burdens. I will provide rest for your soul. Don’t be afraid or intimidated by Me. My strength is a gift to you.” [My paraphrase] There is nothing weak about Jesus!
Jesus harnesses His strength for the purpose of revealing God’s love and grace. He lays down his life as the ultimate display of power over sin and death. Strength under control in submission to the Father. The ultimate example of meekness – the ultimate example of strength.
Adapted from a sermon by Senior Pastor George Wright, Shandon Baptist Church, Columbia, S.C.