This is the third post in a series exploring the Beatitudes and the Salt and Light passage at the beginning of Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5. Before we turn attention to today’s Beatitude, here are 4 interpretive principles that I discussed in the first two posts in this series.
1. First, the Beatitudes can only be produced by the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. In this sense, they are similar to the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23) and the three cardinal virtues of the Christian faith—faith, hope, and love (see 1 Corinthians 13:13).
2. Second, although the Beatitudes emerge in the believer’s life as a result of the Holy Spirit’s work, the believer is still responsible for applying effort to cooperate with the Spirit in producing them. So the Beatitudes are not just a one-time thing, but a lifestyle, a way of living, an on-going work of the Spirit conforming the believer to the image of Christ.
3. Third, the Beatitudes reverse the values of the world and reveal the truest of true values: the values of the Kingdom of God.
4. Fourth, the Beatitudes are not stand alone principles or sayings, but must be read and interpreted in light of one another.
Blessed are the meek
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” ~ Matt 5:5, ESV
In his Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones defines meekness as “essentially a true view of oneself, expressing itself in attitude and conduct with respect to others” (p. 57). He says that meekness consists of two essential components: “…my attitude towards myself; and… an expression of that in my relationship to others.” The meek disciple is free from managing his image before others and also from a false image of himself because he possess a sober view of himself. It is this sober view that nurtures meekness.
Where does that sober view come from? Do you recall our fourth interpretive principle above (the Beatitudes are interpreted in light of one another)? The sober view that nurtures meekness is the supernatural consequence of knowing your spiritual poverty and mourning over your sin. If you know that you cannot produce righteousness in and of yourself (spiritually poor) and you are aware of your sin and transgression against God (mourning), then you will be humble and meek in your relationship to others because there is nothing that could exalt you above another human being.
Here are some ways that meekness is displayed in our relationships with others:
- Refraining from using power that you posses over someone else in order to coerce their compliance or behavior.
- Relinquishing your right to vengeance or defending yourself when your rights are infringed upon.
- Rejecting a defensive spirit.
- Resorting to internal strength of will rather than external strength of ability, talent, and position.
Are you meek?
Do you relate to others with meekness? Here are some reflection questions for you to consider:
- Do you have to get your way all the time?
- Do you feel an internal need to defend yourself in front of others, or to get them to conform to your understanding or desires?
- Are you fighting for your rights and privileges at the expense of humbly following God’s will for your life?
Take the next step (5 minutes)
- Take 5 minutes right now to confess to God ways you have coerced others, demanded your rights, or defended your pride. Ask God to give you the mind and heart of Christ, who prayed to His Father: “Not my will, but Yours be done.”
In this series
- Part 1: The Poor in Spirit
- Part 2: Those Who Mourn
- Part 3: The Meek
- Part 4: Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness
- Part 5: The Merciful
- Part 6: The Pure in Heart
- Part 7: The Peacemakers
- Part 8: Those Who are Persecuted
- Part 9: The Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World
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