Lesson 56—March 1, 2015
Audio Commentary by David Daniel to be used as a study guide.
Meek not Weak
Scripture: Matthew 5:5
Lesson Goal: To learn the blessedness of being truly meek.
• What is your definition of meekness?
• How do you describe someone who is meek?
The Believer’s Bible Commentary gives us a definition of a meek person: “The meek person is gentle and mild in his own cause, though he may be a lion in God’s cause or in defending others” (MacDonald).
Read Numbers 12:3 and Matthew 11:29.
“To be meek means to be gentle, patient not given to anger or resentment. Meekness is a quality not much admired by the world. The world thinks that a meek man is spiritless and spineless” (Phillips).
• Why is the word “meek,” or the description of a meek individual, not in our 2015 vocabulary?
The word meek is taken from the Greek “praos” meaning “mild.” The term was sometimes used to describe a soothing medicine or a soft breeze. “As a human attitude, it meant gentle of spirit, meek, submissive, quiet, tenderhearted” (MacArthur).
Please read 2 Corinthians 10:1. Paul makes reference to Jesus as a pattern for his own attitude. The word was used to describe the colt or other animal whose naturally wild spirit had been subdued under the hand of a trainer. It speaks of an animal possessing great strength, but yet being gentle.
Meekness refers to power under control. This is witnessed in the size and strength of a horse that possesses the disposition and manner of gentleness.
In the Brackin family, our Rottweiler, Bo, is an example of “meek” (power under control). He is 115 pounds of solid muscle. His body is the epitome of strength and power. His head and facial features have been chiseled by the handy work of God, yet to us Bo is the gentle giant curled up on his back wanting his belly rubbed. He is the playful, and often clumsy, comic just wanting to make others notice him by throwing his feeding bowl into the air with the thrust of his powerful head. Bo is our special doorbell that signals the arrival of anyone at the door or in our driveway. He is our own special example of meek—power under control, strength with a gentle spirit, and tough yet tender.
John MacArthur offers a tremendous word concerning verse 5 and the hearers of Jesus’ day and today:
Most of Jesus’ hearers, like fallen men throughout history, were concerned about justifying their own ways, defending their own rights, and serving their own ends. The way of meekness was not their way, and therefore the true kingdom was not their kingdom. The proud Pharisees wanted a miraculous (self-righteous) kingdom, the proud Sadducees wanted a materialistic kingdom, the proud Essenes wanted a monastic kingdom and the proud zealots wanted a military kingdom. The humble Jesus offered a meek kingdom.
The very idea and concept of true meekness is foreign to the 2015 culture and worldly society, but meekness was the New Testament way. It is taught by Jesus in this beatitude as well as elsewhere. The apostle Paul challenged the Ephesians (please read Ephesians 4:1-2). He instructed the Colossians (please read Colossians 3:12).
Meekness, I remind you again, is not weakness. Meekness is not a cowardly spirit, not a spineless flabbiness that lacks conviction or emotion. Meekness is special courage, strength, conviction, and surrender to God. “The spirit of meekness is the very spirit of Jesus Christ who defended the glory of His Father, but gave Himself in sacrifice for others” (MacArthur).
Please read Matthew 26:53.
Meekness is power that is totally and completely surrendered to God’s control.
John R. W. Stott says:
These meek people, Jesus added “shall inherit the earth.” One would have expected the opposite. One would think that meek people get nowhere because everybody ignores them or else rides roughshod over them and tramples them underfoot. It is the tough, the overbearing who succeed in the struggle for existence; weaklings go to the wall. […] Even the children of Israel had to fight for their inheritance, although the Lord their God gave them the Promised Land. The way of Christ is different from the world. True believers can join alongside Paul and stand in agreement as Paul described himself by the world’s standard as “having nothing” but from the heavenly standard as “possessing everything.”
Please read Philippians 3:7-8.
The result of meekness, according to Matthew 5:5, is _____________________.
As with the beatitudes, the general result of meekness is being “blessed” —made happy by God.
“For they shall inherit the earth”
To inherit—Greek “kleronomeō,” refers to receiving one’s allotted portion, “to receive as a possession” (Rienecker). Please read Psalm 37:11.
Questions for Thought and Discussion
How is meekness a part of our salvation? (Read Matthew 18:2-4)
How is meekness a part of our Christian walk? (Read James 1:21)
How is meekness to be a part of our public witness for Jesus Christ? (Please read 1 Peter 3:15)
How does our selfish pride battle against Christ-like meekness?
Explain the following statement: Pride seeks its own glory, but true meekness seeks God’s glory. Please prayerfully explain.
How is it that pride and meekness are at a constant war, even in the life of the believer?
Please read Philippians 2:3-4.
This ethic of gentleness and meekness is the exact opposite of the world’s view of the way to get ahead. Jesus taught that humility comes before honor.
The meek are strong and confident, yet tender and humble.
The meek have purpose and are teachable. They do not live life having to prove themselves by outward displays of arrogance or pride.
The meek have a special quiet confidence of assured victory and triumph.
The meek are controlled by the Spirit, not by a selfish nature.
The meek know a blessed peace from Christ that relieves the pressures and tensions of this present world.
The blessedness of the meek rests in the fact that they are joint heirs with Christ. Please read Romans 8:16-17; Titus 3:7; 1 Peter 1:3-4).
Please pause and pray this simple prayer with me:
Dear Father, I desire to be genuinely meek, just as Jesus taught me. I daily fight the fight with pride, ego and self. Today, I ask that you give me a true and genuine spirit of humility. Father, please take away my false humility and forgive me for seeing myself more highly than I see others. Help me to see myself as I truly am and help me to genuinely regard others more important than myself. Help me to have the meekness that was displayed and taught by my Savior. Amen.