March 24, 2016
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Are you seeing a trend line here? Poor in spirit….mournful….and now meek. Tomorrow we will get to hungry and thirsty for righteousness and then on to merciful. Notice how these aren’t activities. They can’t really become boxes we can check off on our to-do list. Neither can these “beatitudes” be reduced to behaviors, though they do manifest in our behavior. Jesus cuts to the deepest places in his followers and sows the seeds of the dispositions that must grow in order for us to be authentically real human beings. Jesus’ teaching does not seem to begin with what he wants his disciples to know or what he wants them to do. Jesus clearly begins his teaching ministry with who he wants his disciples to become.
The moment our forebears grasped for equality with God was the moment they set all of us on the path of striving to become something other than what we are—human beings who together bear and show forth the glorious image of God. Since then we have run with that ball a billion miles in a million directions. It’s not enough to bear the image of God. We have our own image to worry about. We want to turn stones to bread and put God to all sorts of tests and make deals to build kingdoms of our own designs. Sure, we will “believe” in God, but we can’t imagine stripping back all the layers of our own self-made selves to expose our poverty of spirit and mourn over our brokenness and become meek.
Why all of this anyway? To begin with, for the image of God to be restored to us it will require the presence of God to dwell within us. Second, for the presence of God to dwell within us in any degree of mature love (which is power), it will require the divestment of all of our counterfeit sources of power. It’s why Jesus begins with poverty of spirit which leads us into the heart of our brokenness. From this posture we can discover the true meaning of meekness, which contrary to popular belief is not weakness.
True meekness begins where our own strength of will ends. Meekness begins at the point of the emptying of our own self satisfied spirit of pride. To become truly human, which means to bear the glorious image of God, requires the humility to lay aside all the layers of our false self identity in order to receive the gift of our birthright as sons and daughters of God. It means the absolute and perpetual renunciation of the lies of Satan in order to hear the voice of our beloved Father whose joyful pleasure in us will course through our deepest humanity with the luminous quality of a thousand suns.
Meekness is the strength of the Holy Spirit at work in the world through humble people. It is strength in reserve. So much energy in life gets spent trying to “gain the whole world.” Jesus will later ask us the burning question of what profit does it bring to a person to gain the whole world and forfeit their soul.
The meek no longer strive for worldly gain. In fact, they inherit the earth.
1. How have you thought about meekness before? Was it positive or negative?
2. Is meekness something you aspire to? Why or why not? What will becoming meek require you to unlearn from your former way of being?
3. Reflect on the difference between striving for something and receiving it as a gift.
J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. firstname.lastname@example.org.