An Illustration Of Meekness

John answered, a person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.” – John 3:27

He was an unusual dude. He lived in the wilderness and made his own clothes out of camel hair. Sporting long hair and a beard, he was a man’s man. You’re not far off if you’re picturing Grizzly Adams, Jeremiah Johnson, or Hugh Glass from The Revenant. That was John the Baptist.

In Matthew 11, Jesus says no man was greater than John the Baptist. That’s pretty high praise coming from Jesus. At the time, John the Baptist was a leading man leading a very large ministry. People came from miles around to hear him speak and to be baptized. Throughout his ministry, John spoke about someone far greater who would be coming, the Messiah. Finally, at the height of John’s popularity and amid the crowds of people gathered, Jesus showed up to be baptized by John. Imagine that for a second. He was the one who got to baptize Jesus. The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove. A voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy ” Jesus’ baptism provided several things for the people. It confirmed his identity as God. His baptism also enabled Him to identify with people and marked the beginning of His public ministry. From this point on, John’s voice became less, and Jesus’ voice became greater.

The attention moves from John to Jesus. John’s followers see this and become concerned that they are losing their fame and popularity. They are concerned that they would lose their followers.

John does not get mad, frustrated, or combative because of Jesus’ rising popularity. He doesn’t frantically try to hold on to his fame. John recognizes his place in a much bigger story. He understood all along that this was never about him. He sees his story in light of God’s plan and glory. This is an illustration of meekness. John recognizes that God has given each of us a story, and the point of our story is to reveal His glory. The fact is, it has always been about God. Any fame or popularity that comes our way is all about His name, not ours.

God may be using your life for significant things, but when held up to the bigger story of God, they are not as significant as we may think. The extent of John’s humility is convicting. What about us? Do we acknowledge our unworthiness in light of Jesus’ greatness? This kind of humility changes our response to God, and to others. When we see who we are in light of who Jesus is, we ought to be filled with humility and moved to worship the One who alone is worthy of all glory and praise.

Meekness is an invitation to live for the story that matters most.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does it mean to be meek?
  2. What is the blessing of a God­ controlled life?

The Benefits Of Meekness

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” – Colossians 3:12.

If you gave it some thought, it would not surprise you that your favorite people have the quality of meekness.  It’s a misunderstood quality, yet a quality that every one that is a follower of Jesus should strive toward.  The reason is simple, it is a quality of Jesus.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:1 (ESV): “I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!

Moses was considered the most humble man of his time (Numbers 12:3). The book of Exodus gives evidence as to why God called him the meekest man on earth. Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, observed Moses wearing himself out trying to be a judge over both big and small matters for the people of Israel. In Exodus 18:17 Jethro tells Moses, “This is not good!…” He then went on to recommend that Moses appoint God-fearing men to assist him in judging the people. Exodus 18:24 states, “Moses listened to his father-in-law’s advice and followed his suggestions.” Moses could have puffed out his chest and cited his accomplishments. Instead, Moses was able to humbly listen to the advice and heed the wisdom in it. It was Moses’ gentleness and meekness that allowed God to use him as a powerful tool.

Meekness can be seen as a spiritual chore, something that is required of you even though your heart is not in it. In reality, meekness is a beautiful thing that has many benefits. Here are some of the blessings God promises for people who develop the fruit of meekness:

Inheritance of the earth: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”(Matthew 5:5).  Joy: “The humble will be filled with fresh joy from the Lord. The poor will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.”(Isaiah 29:19). Protection from God’s anger: “Seek the Lord, all who are humble, and follow his commands. Seek to do what is right and to live humbly. Perhaps even yet the Lord will protect you—protect you from his anger on that day of destruction.” (Zephaniah 2:3). Victory: “For the Lord delights in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.” (Psalm 149:4).

Meekness will cause us to want to obey God more than we want to listen to our own selfish desires. Meekness teaches us to rest in God’s peace and follow Him with implicit faith. In the process, God gives us more peace, joy, revelation, power, and authority to do God’s work by giving us greater influence in the lives of those around us.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What benefits do you see as a result of being meek?
  2. How would you like to grow in meekness, personally? Is there a specific area of your life where meekness is especially lacking? 

Blessed Are The Meek, For They Shall Inherit The Earth

“The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather, he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson; but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God has declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is, in the sight of God, more important than angels. In himself, nothing; in God, everything.”  – A.W. Tozer

The first beatitude—being “poor in spirit”—is about recognizing our insignificance compared to God on a very personal level. The second beatitude is about mourning for sin and its many devastating effects. Together, these two beatitudes set the stage for the third: meekness.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Mathew 5:5 ESV) A bunch of meek people gaining control of the earth? Seems unlikely. Most people believe the strong will inherit the earth. Here’s the thing for us who are Jesus’s followers: Jesus took time in His limited earthly ministry to talk about it. He wanted us to know about it on this side of eternity. Logically, meekness is something that God desires and shows favor on. The challenge is understanding the word meek.   

Meekness is a controlled strength that puts everything in the hands of God. It’s founded on a trust of the Lord, and it always denies self. It seeks another person’s interest at the expense of its own, and it’s pure, peaceable, gentle, and open to reason. James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.  How counter-cultural is that in today’s world?

There are many biblical references to the word “meek.”  Bible Psalm 37:11 (ESV) mirrors that of Matthew 5:5 by stating, “But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.” Proverbs 16:19 says, “Better to live humbly with the poor than to share plunder with the proud.”

Meekness should not be confused with cowardice or weakness. It’s not being afraid to stand up to someone; rather it’s having the courage to trust God for justice. In the eyes of God being meek is seen as being peaceful, humble, and clear-minded about what is most important in life. Being meek means that you will follow God’s guidance in this life.  Meekness is a trait that is necessary for a Christian’s life. It is not just power under control, but power under God’s control. For a Christian, meekness is about surrendering everything to God and being completely at His disposal.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Everyone who has humility has meekness and every person with meekness is likely also humble. Agree or disagree and why? 
  2. When you think about meekness, what synonyms come to mind?
  3. Jesus says the meek will inherit the earth. What does He mean and how does that apply to us today?