Sermon: Blessed are the Meek
Scripture: Matthew 5:5
In this week’s lessons, we discover how the Bible defines meekness, and what is promised to those who possess it.
Theme: To Inherit the Earth
Now the third beatitude goes on to teach that the meek “shall inherit the earth.” What does this mean? Well, it is not a promise that the children of God will own oil wells, or blocks of downtown Manhattan, or orchards in southern California. It is a promise for the future. And yet it’s not entirely future either.
There is a sense in which the meek shall inherit the earth now. The meek man is the man who is satisfied and is therefore content. Paul was such a man. He possessed very little, but he spoke of himself as “having nothing, and yet possessing all things” (2 Cor. 6:10). He wrote to the contentious Corinthians, “Therefore, let no man glory in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s” (1 Cor. 3:21-23). With such a spirit I can cross the Alps, gaze upon the Bay of Naples, visit a museum, cross the wide expanses of the American continent, attend a concert, listen to the teaching of the Bible, or do anything else, and I can know that these things are mine as much as they are anyone’s. And I can thank God for the people who maintain them for me.
At the same time I can know that Christ’s promise has a future reference also, for it falls in line with Paul’s reminder that “the saints shall judge the world” (1 Cor. 6:2). You shall judge the world if you are a Christian. For you are God’s heir and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ. There may be sorrow now. There may be suffering. But if we suffer now, we shall reign with him then, when Jesus returns (2 Tim. 2:12). “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:17-18). No wonder Christ promised happiness to the meek.
Now you may be saying, “Okay, all that is wonderful, but for me it is in the area of fantasy. It is a beautiful thought, but it is not possible. I am not meek, and I shall never become meek by any amount of effort.” The answer is, of course, that it is impossible by your own effort. This character is not in man, but it can be created in a man by Jesus. What did he say? He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matt. 11:28-29). Will you come? Jesus can do what you think impossible. He can teach you meekness, and you will indeed find rest for your soul.
What does it mean for the meek to inherit the earth in the present?
What are the future rewards of meekness?
Prayer: Ask the Lord to make you increasingly like him.
Key Point: Jesus can do what you think impossible. He can teach you meekness, and you will indeed find rest for your soul.
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