Matthew 5:5 (New International Version)
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.


What is the first thing you thought of when you read that word? “Hero.” Maybe you thought of a “superhero” like Iron Man or Captain America. Or of your favorite athlete, author, movie star, musician. Or someone you’ve heard about who bravely rushed into a dangerous situation, risking his or her own life to save others.

Did any of you think of someone meek? Don’t feel bad if you didn’t immediately go there. Being meek is not, after all, a character trait that is generally celebrated by our culture. Merriam-Webster defines hero as: “(1) a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability, (2) an illustrious warrior, (3) a man admired for his achievements, (4) one who shows great courage.”

But, in the scripture above today, Jesus tells the crowd that people who are meek will “inherit the earth.” They will receive God’s special favor. The word we translate here as meek is the Greek oi praeis, meaning a gentle, unassuming person, kind and considerate.

But this “meek” should not be confused with weak, cringing, or fearful. It is “meek” in an older sense of strong but accommodating. It is a meek that Jesus perfectly embodied. When Jesus faced a hostile crowd, he kept his cool, answering their accusations in a consistently level-headed manner. When he was arrested and brought to trial, he listened to their long list of false charges with astonishing calm. When he hung on the cross, instead of railing against his enemies, he looked down with compassion and asked God to forgive them.

It takes a great deal of strength to be meek. Frankly, it takes more strength than we as human beings possess! But through the borrowed strength of the Holy Spirit we can act against our natural and cultural tendency to fight back aggressively, and to instead demonstrate a powerful, soul-transforming love. And… oh!… what a witness true meekness is to our world! Meekness, compassion, selflessness, courtesy, kindness: these gentle things boldly shout the truth and power of God’s love!

In what ways have you shown this kind of meekness recently?

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1 Response to Heroes

  1. BRENT JETT says:

    Good Morning, Just want you to know how happy you make us to hear your words that inspire us and help us to apply and act on them… Hope all is well for you both in the big city life. It always amazes me to think about the many different life styles that exist in our world. Blessings to you in all that you do. JVJ

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