The Outward Beatitudes: We Are Gentle

The beatitudes taught by Jesus are Christ-like attitudes that lead to spiritual blessings. But the blessings aren’t for our own gain but for the kingdom of God. The 8 attitudes move us outward as we proclaim the hope of the Gospel to those around us.

The first two attitudes that Jesus commends are hearts that recognize our sin separates us from God and because of that reality we need God to rescue us from our sin. And then out of that contrite and repentant heart, we have a third attitude that causes our heart to face outward toward others in humility.

Jesus says in verse 5, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” The word meek is not a word we commonly use today. It is a word that can cause us to think of someone who is quiet, passive and even weak. Meek doesn’t seem to convey strength but rather timidness. In fact the dictionary definition of meek is “quiet, gentle, and easily imposed on.” It doesn’t seem like a good thing to one who is “easily imposed on”.

But biblical meekness isn’t about being a push over or one without the ability to stand up for themselves but rather it is speaking of a heart that is gentle toward others. Gentleness is the character trait of restraining oneself to meet the needs of others. Another definition of gentleness is “power under control.” While the first two attitudes of “poor in spirit” and “those who mourn” reflects upon our sinful condition, meekness and gentleness seeks to meet the needs of others recognizing the depravity of humanity. Biblical meekness enters into a world that is perishing because of their sin and doesn’t condemn from a high and lofty place but restrains itself to help those who are spiritually lost.

The spiritual character trait of gentleness or meekness is how we share the hope of the Gospel with an unbelieving world. Peter writes in 1 Peter 3:15, “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…” We don’t argue someone to Christ, debate someone to Christ, shame someone to Christ, condemn someone to Christ but rather in gentleness and respect with humility we present the hope of Christ.

Now the blessing of gentleness seems strange: the meek will inherit the earth.

When we think of someone inheriting the entire earth, it seems someone has just been giving the world’s biggest inheritance. They have inherited everything. Can you image a rich uncle dying and then learning after his death he was the largest property owner in the entire world? And then the greater shock comes when you learn that you have inherited all of his property.

Jesus makes a similar shocking statement: the meek inherit the entire earth. What does this mean? Well, it should first tells us that the meek or gentle inherit someone that is of incredible value.

On another occasion Jesus again references this idea of gaining the entire earth but he references it as a negative thing. In Matthew 16:26 Jesus said, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” In this statement, the salvation of one’s soul becomes eternally lost when the pursuit of this world becomes the ultimate desire and they reject true life in Christ. But in Matthew 5, when we have gentle hearts toward others for the sake of the Kingdom of God, we gain everything.

The contrast of Matthew 9 and Matthew 16 is similar to what Jesus said in Matthew 10 when he said to his disciples, “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”

Jesus loved taking the wisdom of the world and flipping it on it’s head. Whoever loses, will find. The meek will gain. The reason is because the values of the kingdom of God are very different then the values of the kingdom of man.

After Jesus said whoever loses his life for my sake, will find it, he then says these intriguing words, “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.” This speaks into the message that the disciples would be taking into the world. And whoever receives the message of the Gospel that the disciples proclaim will also receive life in Jesus as the disciples know life in Jesus. By giving up their life for the sake of Christ, they have privilege of seeing others come to know Christ.

When we are gentle for the sake of the Gospel, we have the opportunity to be a part of the work of Christ and sharing in the joy of others coming to know Christ. We have the privilege of seeing the kingdom of God expand. It is not the powerful who gain the world, it is the gentle who love the world for the sake of Christ that truly get to experience the treasures of this world.

It is easy to condemn the world. It is easy to hate the wicked. It is easy to argue and debate with the non-believer. And we gain nothing with that attiude. And yet when we enter into this world with the gentless of Christ for the sake of Christ, we may gain the joy of seeing someone come to place their hope in Christ. Through our gentleness, others can gain everything.

Who needs your gentleness today?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *