Blessed are the Meek
Have you ever heard of the term GOAT. Not the animal but the description of someone. Yes, it seems silly that you would call someone a GOAT, but it actually means The Greatest of All Time. We have used this term to describe a lot of people especially in the sports realm. Michael Jordan has been called the Goat along with Lebron James. Tom Brady in the NFL has been called the GOAT several times in his career. As more people enter into the sports realm the more people are called the GOAT. All it takes is for them to be really good at what they do and we slap the GOAT label on them. Often times it can get to their heads. They start to refer to themselves as the Greatest of all Time. Their head becomes so large with the amount of pride that they can barely fit through a door. Then what happens typically. They hit hard. They have all of this talk about how great they are and how they are the best and then something happens and they are taken down a few notches.
You know pride is like a disease. It enters into our hearts and minds and it just takes over. It begins to corrupt our thoughts and the way we act and the things we say. You know pride just isn't like a disease it is a disease. And honestly its a life threatening one. One that can take over your whole being and destroy you from the inside out. Often times we can become so filled and overtaken by pride that the people we love don’t even recognize us anymore. That’s how pride destroys someone. It begins to change the person in a negative and toxic way. Pride in my opinion is the cause of so much sin in our life. So much sin stems from pride. That feeling of superiority, that feeling of I want what I want, the reliance on only ourselves, that feeling of I can do better than God. It causes so much destruction in our life and destruction in others lives. That is the way pride works. Its consequences are contagious and so often we are not the only ones affected by the pain this disease brings into our lives.
Here is an example Napoleon was a famous leader of the French a long time ago. He was known for his military might and his numerous campaigns that lead to victory. These constant victories began to give Napoleon pride and not in a good way. I mean he said things like “I can no longer obey, I have tasted command and I cannot give it up,” The surest way to remain poor is to be an honest man,” Power is my mistress, I have worked to hard for her conquest to allow anyone to take her away from me.” Napoleon as you can see struggled with some pride. Well the moment of humbling soon came. Napoleon after conquering so many people went to conquer Russia to which he met defeat. He was forced to retreat and suffered a lot of casualties. After that Napoleon suffered defeat after defeat until his death just a few years later. Napoleons pride not only led to his ultimate downfall, but his pride also led to the downfall of his men.
Pride affects more than just ourselves. Jesus talks about pride all throughout the scriptures and gives numerous examples of people who had pride and were quickly humbled. However, he also talks about the opposite. Jesus talks about humility and what it brings. He talks about that in the 5th verse of Matthew 5. As you know we have been in this series #blessed and looking at the beatitudes in Jesus famous sermon on the mount. In this next beatitude we are going to look at Jesus talks about humility and what that brings. So lets turn to Matthew 5:5 and read it together.
We are going to do what we have been doing for the last couple weeks. We are going to take this verse in phrases. So lets look at the first phrase Blessed are the Meek. We know what Blessed means. Happy, approved. But lets look at that word meek what it means and what it looks like in our lives. The Greek word for meek is translated as humble, gentle the opposite of aggressive and prideful. However, in both todays world and their world such humility was not looked well upon. Today we hear the word meek to describe someone and we think of someone who just rolls over for someone. Someone who is a wallflower. someone who is spineless subservient, submissive. It comes with this negative connotation. We think to be connected with meekness means that we never stand up for ourselves and just allow everyone to push around. So naturally we avoid being meek. So it seems odd that Jesus would say that if you are meek you are blessed. That doesn’t make sense in our mind right. I think sometimes we skip over this verse and just push it to the side. Who would want to be meek. However, this isn’t talking about all of that. Actually the greek word is one of the great ethical words in the greek. That word meek is really focused on humility. But really what is humility. I think sometimes we have this scewed view of what humility really is. Our first thought normally is someone who just pushes the attention off of themselves. Like you walk up to them and say great job and they just say oh thank you im just doing my job. That is what we typically think. But it is so much more than that.
Humility is recognizing our own ignorance and being willing to learn. A man by the name of Quintilian a Roman teacher said this about his scholars “They would no doubt be excellent students, if they were not already convinced of their own knowledge.” Humility is loving unconditionally. Without humility there would be no such thing as love. The very beginning of love is a sense of unworthiness. Humility is recognizing weakness. Humility is recognizing the needs of others. Humility is taking the spot lot off of ourselves and putting it one God. Humility is the acceptance of the necessity to learn and the necessity to be forgiven. A scholar put humility like this. Without humility there can be no true religion, for all true religion begins with a realization of our own weakness and of our need for God. True Humanity can only be reached when we are always conscious that we are the creatures and that God is the creator and that without God we can do nothing. Humility is so much more than what we realize. Its more than just saying glory to God when someone gives you a compliment. And its not someone who is spinless or a wall flower. Humility is a powerful thing. Meekness is a powerful thing. It is so powerful that Jesus tells us what it brings.
That last phrase. For they shall inherit the earth. Listen its a fact of history that it has been those who have self-control, instincts and impulses under discipline, people who are humble, who have been the great the great leaders of the world. Let me give you an example of scripture. In the book of Numbers Moses is described as very humble, more so than anyone else on the face of the earth in Numbers 12:3
(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)
Moses wasn’t spinless. Moses wasn’t a wallflower. Moses could stand up for himself and for God when he needed to. He wasn’t afraid of confrontation or telling you how it was, yet he did it all with humility. William Barclay puts it like this “We cannot lead others until we have found our own direction in life; we cannot serve others until we have put aside self; we cannot be in control of others until we have learned to control ourselves. But those who give themselves into the complete control of God will gain meekness, which will indeed enable them to inherit the earth.” Listen I believe that Jesus is talking about both here and now and after this life. I believe that God puts humble people in positions of leadership. And I believe that after this life those who are humble and meek God will have positions of leadership in the new earth. God want’s those who are meek, who are humble to be the leaders of his kingdom. There is no place for pride the kingdom of God. Following Christ is all about selflessness. Have you ever had a leader who was truly selfless. A humble person. You would probably follow them to the ends of the earth right. That is what Jesus is talking about here. Those who are meek, who are humble he places in positions to lead because they are some of the most effective leaders out there. But hear what I am saying here. Humility does not always equal leadership. God calls us all to be humble calls us all to be meek. Not just leaders.
Pride is a disease that destroys the hearts and minds of people. God all throughout scriptures warns us of pride. James 4:6
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Haughty eyes and a proud heart— the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin.
That is just the tip of iceberg. God talks so much more about what Pride does to us and what it gains us. But notice in so many of those scriptures humility is also mentioned. God finds that humility should be an essential part of our lives. Being meek is a word that should be used to describe all of us. When someone talks about us is one of the first things that comes to mind meek. Humility.
Let me tell you one more story. During the time of Frances Liberation in WW2 a soldier wrote home describing this situation. He said that they had been going around day after day meeting great crowds of Germans along the way shouting and jumping for joy at the thought of being taken prisoner. However, sometimes you would get an old S.S man that would be brought in that was stern, unmoving, unwavering. One had been carried in badly wounded and he required a blood transplant immediately or he would die. The German S.S man asked the doctor “Will is be British Blood?” To which the doctor replied “Yes, good British blood. If you refuse it you will die.”Then the Nazi replied “then I would rather die.” Soon after they would carry his body out to be buried
So often in our lives pride has taken such a foothold that we are leading our selves to a death we don’t want. This death that leads us away from God. The thing is God is there wanting to help us. Wanting to revive us from the inside out. He wants to teach us humility what it means to be meek. God has the cure to the disease of pride but what happens is we refuse because pride has taken such a hold of us that we don’t even think we are prideful. Jesus makes it clear here in this sermon on the mount that humility/meekness is an essential part of a Christians walk in life.