By Allen White
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
The meek would probably be the last among us that we could imagine taking over the world. When we hear the word “meek,” what comes to mind? Certainly not “admirable,” “strong,” or “dominate.” We think more in terms of “wimpy,” “mild,” and “unassertive.”
Often Jesus is pictured in a light blue robe speaking in soft tones. He appears sort of meek. Guys in light blue robes don’t really emit strength. (He usually also has blue eyes, which seems more Nordic than Semitic, but now I’m off the topic.) Jesus wasn’t wimpy. He worked for a living. He built with hand tools. There were no power tools (who’s wimpy now?) He got fired up. He confronted the establishment. Jesus took on evil, and He won. There was nothing wimpy or meek about Jesus.
The meek that Jesus speaks about here are not meek by choice or disposition. They are not merely shy or introverted. The meek are those humbled from oppression. Whether mild mannered or fierce, they have been subdued by the circumstances of their lives. They are no longer in a place where they will naturally rise above their situations. The oppression they face put them down and keeps them down. All of Jesus’ audiences were under political oppression, but they also faced religious, racial, gender and economic oppression.
Jesus said that those who are mistreated, dominated and forced into submission, are blessed. Those who are powerless will inherit the earth. The territory that powerful empires sought to possess and control will belong to them. But, isn’t the earth going to be destroyed (Revelation 21:1)?
Years ago, my dad worked with a guy who was a Jehovah’s Witness. They were talking about Heaven one day, and the man said, “This is all of the Heaven that I need” sweeping his arms around. Apparently, he had given up on being part of the 144,000. Earth was to be his Heaven.
My dad replied, “So, what’s the point?” (Now, you understand where I get it.) If Heaven is a place on earth, then what’s the point (Belinda Carlile)?
Sure people have fantasies about “What if I was in charge?” or “If I ran this place, things would be different.” That’s not where Jesus was going here.
What Jesus has in mind, goes along with the prophecy from Isaiah 61: “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1). In fact, Jesus read this passage in the synagogue in Luke 4. He concluded, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21).
What is impossible for the meek, those humbled by oppression, is possible with God. Those regarded as a possession will possess. They will rule and reign with Christ (Matthew 19:28).
How are you feeling oppressed today? What situation do you feel stuck in or powerless over? God has justice for you. God has hope for you.
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