Last Sunday Chris Lindsay preached to us concerning Jesus’s Beatitude “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” He provided some rich, necessary background context, which gave us insight into what meekness is and how it can be misunderstood. In Jesus’s day there were four (at least) groups who were seeking to inherit the blessing of God. In other words these four groups were trying to “inherit the earth”. The Pharisees were seeking to show their strength and worthiness through pristine Law-keeping. The Sadducees were seeking to show their strength and worthiness through their political alliances with Rome. The zealots were seeking to show their strength and
worthiness through military action. And, the Essenes sought to show their worthiness by separating/isolating themselves from the “corrupt” society. The problem was that each of these groups was showing their own strength and worthiness in order to inherit the promises of God, when, in fact, the promises are obtained through meekness. To demonstrate this concept more fully Chris described meekness with three checkpoints: the Witness to Meekness in the OT, the Faithful Witness to Meekness in Christ, and Our Witness to Meekness.
Chris showed us from Psalm 37 (Jesus actually is quoting this Psalm in the Beatitude), the life of Moses, and Simeon and Anna that meekness is not demonstrating one own strength and worthiness, but rather trusting God to act on our behalf. This often involves waiting on the Lord. While these OT examples were helpful in seeing what meekness is, each of them failed to fully realize the promise of inheriting the earth. They leave us looking for more.
The second check point was the witness of Christ to meekness. Chris showed us that Jesus truly fulfilled the essence of this beatitude. Jesus was the ultimate meek One. He was totally righteous, yet He was mistreated. However, He did not seek to vindicate Himself, but instead waited on His Father to vindicate Him, which He dramatically did through the resurrection. Chris showed us from Philippians 2:6-11 that because of this meekness Jesus is the One who has inherited the earth: He is the King of kings. He supported this from Revelation 5 where Jesus has authority to take the scroll of the Earth – the title deed to the earth. So, if we are to inherit the earth we don’t do it in our own strength, but humbly rely on Christ’s work. We must abandon our own righteousness and resources and meekly receive Christ’s offer of inheritance by grace.
Finally, Chris challenged us to live lives of meekness in the power of the Spirit. The Spirit Himself is the first installment of our inheritance. In other words, we are already inheriting the earth as Jesus promised through the gift of the Holy Spirit. He claims us as God’s own children and He guarantees our fulfillment of it. In the mean time, between the “now” and the “not yet” we are to exercise meekness in all of our relationships, trusting God to act on our behalf in all of life.
- In what ways would meekness shape and change the way you act with those in your family? Husbands, is meekness the same as being passive? If not, what’s the difference? Wives, how does meekness show itself in 1 Peter 3:1-6?
- How should meekness shape our interactions online?
- What does it mean that the Spirit is already our inheritance? What does it mean that He guarantees the fullness of our future inheritance? How can we live in the Spirit now in a way that show meekness?
- In days when the church is facing increasing pressure from the culture how can we cultivate a Spirit of meekness in our public witness? (See Titus 3:1-5)