Blessed are the meek – A sermon on Matthew 5:5 by Rev. Colin Pretorius.
On one side of the court sat one of the most influential men in the world. Ruthless, ambitious, proud and arrogant, he represented all that was powerful. He seemed to have all authority. At the other end stood the accused, a man in His mid-thirties. To all appearances He was weak. But this was so very far from the truth. As these two men faced each other across the courtroom floor, the meekness of the prisoner shone forth His majesty. For as the meekest man who had ever lived faced Pontius Pilate, it was not one of the rulers of the ancient world who was in charge, but Jesus, the Son of God. His power and His authority did not come from an earthly source – it stemmed from who He was. And whatever this arrogant and proud earthly ruler would do, it would be Jesus who triumphed. This meek one would indeed inherit the earth and everything else in all of the universe.
Jesus lived out his life as an example to us. He lived the kingdom life, He lived with a beautiful attitude. And in the Sermon on the Mount, in what we’ve come to know as the beatitudes, He explained to His followers what such a kingdom life looks like.
The first four of these beautiful attitudes focus our attention on our deep and enduring need for God. In verses 1-3 we learn that those who recognise their spiritual bankruptcy (those who are poor in spirit) are the ones who will inherit the kingdom of heaven. Because they recognise their dependence on God and entrust their souls to Him, their reward will be the eternal companionship of God Himself. Last week we saw that verse 4 builds on this in the sense that those who have recognised their spiritual bankruptcy will be so cut to the heart that they will be mournful. They will not only mourn for the grief that their sins cause the Father, they’ll also mourn the sins of the world. This mourning does not mean walking around with a long face and teary eyes the whole day, but it means feeling truly sorrowful and repenting and pleading for God’s forgiveness on a daily basis.
And friends, being aware of our own spiritual bankruptcy and mourning because our sins and the sins of others have grieved the Father’s heart, this attitude should lead us to an attitude of meekness. That is what the third beautiful attitude is all about – it is about living a life characterised by meekness. So what does this meekness mean – what does it mean to be meek and how do we live it out in our lives? And what does it mean that the meek will inherit the earth?