Blessed are the Meek
Consider this morning with me Matthew 5:5 which states "Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth."
This verse lies in a context which we call "The Sermon on the Mount". In reality is stretches well into chapter 7 of Matthew. What we see here in this "sermon" is that Jesus and His righteousness are far different than man's idea and practice of righteousness. Jesus' goes far deeper than the mere externals of the righteousness of man. In fact, Jesus' righteousness is perfection.
The immediate context of Matthew 5 is that which we call "The Beatitudes". I have heard it described as "attitudes that ought to be". As you read these, you can hardly not notice that they are in fact the exact opposite of what we see in our culture and even value in our culture in people. What God holds as virtuous, man holds almost the exact opposite. That is really the point of the whole sermon stretching into Matthew 7.
At the root of this is our sin. You name the heartache, struggle, or fight, and at its root is sin. Sins that indeed mark the opposite of what we see in the Beatitudes. Pride, arrogance, pleasure seeking at all costs, lusting after things of this world and of the flesh, cruelty, you name it. We know nothing of the Beatitudes in and of ourselves in this world due our sin nature and the flesh.
And into this world Jesus speaks and intrudes our sin with a picture of God and His values and character, namely true righteousness. Note: these words here in the Beatitudes are not opinions, not guesses, not suggestions, not things Jesus gleaned from experience and wisdom gained as He searched the world through. This is truth. Jesus speaks as the Second Member of the Trinity. Eternal truth.
Ultimately this is an invitation to Himself and the gift of true righteousness to a world that is burdened and weary in seeking their own. See Matthew 11:28-30 which states "Come unto Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn form Me, for I am gentle (MEEK) and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light."
What you see here are two things contrasted: burden and rest. The burden Jesus offers to bear is that burden which the entire creation carries. And Jesus offers rest from this "exhaustive" burden.
This burden Jesus speaks of is that ultimately of sin and self and self-righteousness. That which shows itself in many ways, such as pride, and the need to set yourself up on high. In contrast to this is Jesus and the example but also gift of meekness. Who humbly took on flesh and who did not come to be served, but to serve, even to the point of death. Jesus offers us the joy and release of not caring who is greater than you, that joy in serving the Lord and His glory as opposed to your own. Meekness.
The meek person is not unaware of his own inferiority. He knows his weaknesses and strengths. They have accepted what God says about them and declares over them. In themselves they are nothing, yet in God they are everything, cherished even above the angels.
This is the burden that meekness and Jesus Christ wants to take away. Burden of pride and exalting self. Elevating self. The need for jockeying for position or needing to defend self. Letting God defend them.
If we could summarize our nation and its people in one way, beyond obviously sinners, I would say that the descriptor of "artificial" would be just. Artificiality, not letting anyone in to see the real you, warts and all. That plagues even believers. And it is the opposite of meekness. And it is a burden that Jesus releases us from when we surrender to Jesus and His meekness. And the irony is that in return we get to inherit the earth.
This world in which we live is breaking under the weight of pride and fakeness and appearances and the like. Pretending to be someone they are not. Needing to elevate and exalt self. Fighting for rights rather than laying them down for the good of others and the glory of the Lord.
Christian, don't fall into this trap. Believe Jesus and His words. Find your rest in Him and in serving Him alone, exalting Him alone. Take yourself for who you are, not being ok with sin and shortcomings, but acknowledging we have them and trusting Jesus to overcome them, and cease to pretend. Get over yourself.
Meekness. Rest. If I am honest, this idea exposes one of the many struggles I have faced in this time, that of not knowing all the answers, struggling if I have served well enough as a pastor, pride, being ok resting. Knowing that no matter what we decide or do there are dissenting views. And especially lately it has stolen my rest. Maybe you can relate.
May we simply look to Jesus and trust in Him and His care for us, May we deny self, take up our crosses daily, and simply follow Him and seek to glorify and exalt Him above all else. May He and His promises for us be rest for our weary souls. Even in isolation and quarantine. May our joy be in serving, giving ourselves for each other, humbly laying down rights, seeking other's good and not our own. Meekness.
May we live for the glory of the One who saved us. And when we stumble, and we will stumble, may we forgive one another, get up, and keep seeking. Kill the pride that says we have to pretend to be perfect, for we know we are not. Rest in meekness. Surrendered to Jesus and His glory and plan for us. His righteousness being sufficient, rather than trying to establish our own.
And May His name be exalted and glorified in this.