42 min

“A Posture of Humility‪”‬ Meadowbrooke Church Sermon Podcast

    • Christianity

Matthew 5:5



What does it mean to be meek?  Meek is a word we do not hear or use all that often anymore.  Maybe the reason for its little use in the English vocabulary is because it is not something that is highly valued in America.  What we value is strength, boldness, and courage.  We value ingenuity, skill, tenacity, and determination.  These values are not necessarily bad, but meekness is not a character trait one might see in the hero featured in the latest superhero movie. 



So, what does it mean to be meek?  Let me begin by telling you what meekness is not.  Here is a list of what meekness is not – at least the meekness Jesus refers to in his sermon on the mount – meekness is not:



CowardiceSpinelessnessIndecisivenessTimidityShynessNicenessA posture of wishy-washinessA lack of confidence



To be meek, according to the Bible, is to be a person with self-control, a person who exercises controlled strength, and a person who has a proper and right understanding of who they are in light of a sovereign God.  A meek person is not only a person who appreciates that God is sovereign, but a person who trusts God and out of that trust, the meek person is humble and gentle (the Greek word for meek can also be translated gentle or humble).  A meek person is a free person, and it is this person who will inherit the earth.  It will not be the powerful, popular, prestigious, or prideful who will inherit the earth, but it will be the meek who will inherit the earth. 



This type of meekness will not coexist with the kind of creedal statements our culture celebrates, creedal statements whose spirit is so ingrained in our culture that we assume are not only harmless but virtuous.  There are two that come to mind I want to share with you to help you understand why Jesus’ words sound so paradoxical; the first is a poem written by William Ernest:



Out of the night that covers me,



      Black as the pit from pole to pole,



I thank whatever gods may be



      For my unconquerable soul.



In the fell clutch of circumstance



      I have not winced nor cried aloud.



Under the bludgeonings of chance



      My head is bloody, but unbowed.



Beyond this place of wrath and tears



      Looms but the Horror of the shade,



And yet the menace of the years



      Finds and shall find me unafraid.



It matters not how strait the gate,



      How charged with punishments the scroll,



I am the master of my fate,



      I am the captain of my soul.



For the whole month of June our culture now celebrates the spirit of Invictus; it began with a parade on the streets of Manhattan and Central Park in 1970 with the first Pride Parade, and now our society calls it Pride Month.  The spirit of Invictus is not only celebrated in June, it is celebrated with the posture that I can determine my own truth because, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”  It is this spirit that can be heard in John Lennon’s “Imagine”:



Imagine there’s no heavenIt’s easy if you tryNo hell below usAbove us, only sky



Imagine all the peopleLivin’ for today



This is how the world believes one will inherit the earth, but Jesus shows us a different way.  Jesus shows us a better way.  Jesus shows us the only way a person will inherit what was never the world’s to give in the first place.



Who are the Meek?



According to Jesus, it is a different type of person who will inherit the earth.  Each of the beatitudes serve in succession of the one before it.  The beatitudes are not independent clever statements that will make life better if you apply them to your life, but a statement on what kind of person belongs to a kingdom that cannot fade, grow old, or be destroyed (1 Pet. 1:3-9). 



There is a Psalm that I believe Jesus is referring to in Matthew 5:5 that helps us understand who the meek are.  The passage I have in mind is Psalm 37

Matthew 5:5



What does it mean to be meek?  Meek is a word we do not hear or use all that often anymore.  Maybe the reason for its little use in the English vocabulary is because it is not something that is highly valued in America.  What we value is strength, boldness, and courage.  We value ingenuity, skill, tenacity, and determination.  These values are not necessarily bad, but meekness is not a character trait one might see in the hero featured in the latest superhero movie. 



So, what does it mean to be meek?  Let me begin by telling you what meekness is not.  Here is a list of what meekness is not – at least the meekness Jesus refers to in his sermon on the mount – meekness is not:



CowardiceSpinelessnessIndecisivenessTimidityShynessNicenessA posture of wishy-washinessA lack of confidence



To be meek, according to the Bible, is to be a person with self-control, a person who exercises controlled strength, and a person who has a proper and right understanding of who they are in light of a sovereign God.  A meek person is not only a person who appreciates that God is sovereign, but a person who trusts God and out of that trust, the meek person is humble and gentle (the Greek word for meek can also be translated gentle or humble).  A meek person is a free person, and it is this person who will inherit the earth.  It will not be the powerful, popular, prestigious, or prideful who will inherit the earth, but it will be the meek who will inherit the earth. 



This type of meekness will not coexist with the kind of creedal statements our culture celebrates, creedal statements whose spirit is so ingrained in our culture that we assume are not only harmless but virtuous.  There are two that come to mind I want to share with you to help you understand why Jesus’ words sound so paradoxical; the first is a poem written by William Ernest:



Out of the night that covers me,



      Black as the pit from pole to pole,



I thank whatever gods may be



      For my unconquerable soul.



In the fell clutch of circumstance



      I have not winced nor cried aloud.



Under the bludgeonings of chance



      My head is bloody, but unbowed.



Beyond this place of wrath and tears



      Looms but the Horror of the shade,



And yet the menace of the years



      Finds and shall find me unafraid.



It matters not how strait the gate,



      How charged with punishments the scroll,



I am the master of my fate,



      I am the captain of my soul.



For the whole month of June our culture now celebrates the spirit of Invictus; it began with a parade on the streets of Manhattan and Central Park in 1970 with the first Pride Parade, and now our society calls it Pride Month.  The spirit of Invictus is not only celebrated in June, it is celebrated with the posture that I can determine my own truth because, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”  It is this spirit that can be heard in John Lennon’s “Imagine”:



Imagine there’s no heavenIt’s easy if you tryNo hell below usAbove us, only sky



Imagine all the peopleLivin’ for today



This is how the world believes one will inherit the earth, but Jesus shows us a different way.  Jesus shows us a better way.  Jesus shows us the only way a person will inherit what was never the world’s to give in the first place.



Who are the Meek?



According to Jesus, it is a different type of person who will inherit the earth.  Each of the beatitudes serve in succession of the one before it.  The beatitudes are not independent clever statements that will make life better if you apply them to your life, but a statement on what kind of person belongs to a kingdom that cannot fade, grow old, or be destroyed (1 Pet. 1:3-9). 



There is a Psalm that I believe Jesus is referring to in Matthew 5:5 that helps us understand who the meek are.  The passage I have in mind is Psalm 37

42 min