Who Gets What

David Bast

READ : Matthew 5:5

What sort of person comes to mind when you hear the adjective meek? I think of Clement Atlee, the British politician Winston Churchill described as “a sheep in sheep’s clothing,” and “a modest little man with much to be modest about.”

Jesus pronounces a blessing on the meek. If you want to enjoy God’s favor, then meekness is one of the qualities you have to strive for. But meekness isn’t what we often imagine it to be.

To be meek does not mean to be weak or wimpy. It doesn’t turn you into either a chicken or a sheep. To be meek is to be gentle, yet strong. It is to be humble and non-self-assertive. It is to be like Jesus himself (Mt. 11:29).

In this beatitude Jesus is letting us in on God’s little joke, or perhaps I should say, God’s big joke. The joke is on all the greedy and powerful of the world, who believe that they can carve out and hold on to personal empires for themselves. God’s joke is that it’s actually the meek who will inherit the earth. The first will be last, and the last will be first. The fast track to success ends up heading nowhere, for God owns the earth, and he’s planning to give everything to his Son and his friends! How about that!


We praise you, Lord, for being the righteous judge of all. We look forward to the day when you will make everything right. Amen.