Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5 ESV)
Jesus continued to proclaim the Lord’s blessings to the disciples who followed Him (Matt. 5:1-2). He preached about who God would bless and why. Jesus previously declared blessing on the poor in spirit and those who mourn. In today’s text, He addresses those who are meek.
To be meek (πραΰς; praus) means to be gentle and humble. Meekness is not weakness. It is the opposite of being out of control: physically, intellectually, emotionally and volitionally.
“The word is best understood as “gentleness,” or a refusal to take control by brute force or manipulation. Meekness, from a Christian perspective, is about faith. It is about trusting God to win the battle in the end instead of going to extremes to win the battle on our own terms. The concept is often referred to as “strength under control,” rather than “strength seeking control,” explains one commentator.
To inherit (κληρονομέω klēronomeō) means to obtain or receive by inheritance. This idea is taken from Psalm 37:11.
“The idea of gaining the world, whether as individuals or as a nation, is as old as human history, and the spirit of the builders of the tower of Babel reverberates through all such efforts: “Let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens and let us make a name for ourselves” (Gen. 11:4). This seems to be the goal of fallen humanity, both individually and collectively: to make a name for ourselves through accumulation, accomplishment, or through expanding our borders. And when these things are the defining pursuits of a person or a people, the defining character of that person or people will lean in the direction of avarice and arrogance,” explains Pastor Ken Jones.
“So in looking at Matthew 5:5, we note that this verse is connected to texts such as Psalm 37, where the ruthless ambition of evildoers to gain the things of the world is contrasted against the righteous who commit their way to the Lord and trust in Him (Ps. 37:5). In verses 9–10, we are told that the evildoers will be cut off. Moreover, the earth will not be earned but will rather be inherited (vv. 9, 11, 22, and 34). And here’s the kicker: the ones who will gain the earth by inheritance are the meek.”
Meekness is foreign to our fallen, sinful condition. It is rather a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:23). It is a result of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.
“So, the blessing of this beatitude is that those who look to Christ in faith will inherit the earth because they have been credited with His meekness and have been given the gift of the Spirit, who connects us to Christ and conforms us to His likeness,” concludes Pastor Jones.
Soli deo Gloria!