Who Gets What?

David Bast

Read: Matthew 11:25-30

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Matt. 5:5)

What sort of person comes to mind when you hear the adjective meek? I think of Winston Churchill’s description of one of his political opponents 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 want. But meekness isn’t what you might think. To be meek does not mean to be weak or wimpy. It doesn’t turn you into a sheep—or a chicken! To be meek is to be humble and non-self-assertive. It is to be like Jesus himself, “gentle and lowly in heart” (Matt. 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 ambitious people, who believe that they can carve out personal empires for themselves, who think that in this world you have to grab for what you want and fight your way to the top. 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, because God owns the earth, and he’s planning to give it to his Son’s friends. Humble faith in the Lord is the key to everything. —David Bast

Prayer: We look forward to the day, Lord, when you will put down the proud and exalt the humble.