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Blessed Are the Meek

The inheritance of the humble
This sermon is part of the sermon series "Beatitudes". See series.


Suppose the company you work for were to write a description of the ideal person to be its new CEO. Do you think meekness would be on the list? What about in the next presidential election? Which candidate would garner the most votes with the slogan, "Vote for me, I'm meek!" Or what about your pastoral search? How excited do you think the search committee would be about a candidate who said that his primary leadership quality was that he was meek? We don't want a meek person to be our leader. We want someone who is dynamic, powerful. So Jesus' third beatitude, "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth," comes as something of a surprise. What's so great about being meek? And why do the meek inherit the earth? Part of our problem is due to a misunderstanding—we hear the word "meek" and automatically think "weak." We couldn't be more wrong.

Meekness requires strength.

One way to define meekness is "strength under control." We get a sense of this from the way this word is translated elsewhere in the New Testament. For example, translations like the New American Standard Version and the New Living Translation use the word "gentle" here: blessed are the gentle. The validity of this translation is supported by other passages where this same Greek word appears. In 2 Timothy 2:24-25, Paul identifies this as an essential quality of leadership when he says: "the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth." Meekness requires strength. In fact, to be meek in the sense that Jesus describes here requires supernatural ...

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John Koessler is professor and chair of the Pastoral Studies Department at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois.

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Sermon Outline:


I. Meekness requires strength.

II. Meekness requires humility.

III. Meekness requires acceptance.