Lesson 3 – Blessed are the Meek

Blessed are the Meek

“Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.”  Matthew 5:5


The Greek word “praus” has been translated meek, humble or gentle.  Jesus gave us insight for its usage when He said, “Not my will but thine be done.”  He was speaking to God our Father in prayer the night before He went to the cross for our sins (Mark 14:36).  Meek is a temper of spirit in which we accept God’s dealings with us as good.  We also accept governmental and societal rules as good, if they do not conflict with the laws of God (Acts 5:29; Rom. 13:1; I Pet. 2:13, 14).

Although we can easily learn the meaning of the word “meek,” an understanding of the attitude of a meek person will require more study.  The result, or reward, for being meek may be a clue for a place to begin our study.  What does it mean to inherit the earth?  The Greek word that has been translated inherit in our text is used in Matthew 25:34.  Faithful Christians will inherit the kingdom of heaven.  Inherit in both contexts suggest we get something for our own.  We do not think Jesus means we will possess heaven or earth in the exact same way heirs inherit a house; however, the idea of having something for one’s own is suggested.  Faithful Christians will have the kingdom of God as our own place to dwell when Jesus comes again.  We will have the spiritual facilities of the kingdom of God available to us for the support of our eternal life (Rev. 3:21).

Those who learn the laws of nature have the earth for their use in a way others do not possess; that is, until they share their learning with us.  Perhaps, a study of the attitude of a successful scientist would help us to have insight into what Jesus meant in our text about the emotional attitude of meekness.  A true scientist is dedicated to maintaining the emotional attitude of meekness in relation to God’s laws of the universe.  Even though, some scientist may never develop meekness in relation to God’s spiritual laws taught by Jesus.

Of course, all of us recognize the foolishness of going against the laws of nature.  The law of gravity, for instance, would give us a lot of trouble if we stepped out of a high flying airplane without a parachute.  It would do very little good for a farmer to sow grain in the winter time in North America.  At the time a child learns to walk, they also begin to develop the emotion of meekness in regard to the law of gravity.  People learn early in life to be meek in relation to God’s laws of nature.

A meek emotion is the attitude of placing oneself under law or rule.  While visiting a friend’s home, meek visitors will subject themselves to the rule of that home.  This attitude becomes generalized toward all encounters.  Meekness is a meek person’s emotional attitude at school, on the job, in a group, or toward the laws of the land.  At school, they would have no problem with the staff.  They would always be welcome in their friends’ homes.  We can see how we could avoid many conflicts if we obey the rules.  Jesus taught us to be meek because He wanted us to be happy.

In regard to the laws of nature, we would save ourselves from many physical pains.  We need to be just as respectful to the laws of life.  It will save us pain to our “selves.”  Eph. 4:17-19.  Jesus is the light of life for us.  He taught and demonstrated the laws describing how human beings have been created.  The laws of life revealed to Christians are the laws of the new covenant (Heb. 8:10).  The new covenant has been offered through the blood of Jesus Christ’s priesthood (Luke 22:20; I Cor. 8:6; Heb. 8:6).  When these laws of life are written (impressed) on our “selves,” they are manifested in our emotional attitudes.  Emotional attitudes are units that function in our personality.  These emotions that have been taught and demonstrated by Jesus develop happy people.  Jesus “walked what He taught.”  His personality incorporated the attitudes He taught:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.  Matt. 11:28-30

Say to the Daughter of Zion, See, your king comes to you, gentle (meek) and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.  Matt. 21:5

Mankind walks the path of life one time.  We have never experienced this walk.  At the same time we are in a continuum of changing modes.  This applies to both our inner and outer man (II Cor. 4:16).  Christians have forgiveness for our missteps, but we can never do them over.  We need to be in step; that is, “yoked together” with the One who is the light of life (I John 1:2).  He knows the way and He is the way.  Jesus was meek in relation to His Father’s will.  He learned obedience by the things He suffered (Heb. 5:7).  He suffered even though He was meek.  Christians who accept the teachings of Jesus are willing to accept Jesus’ yoke.  This is the beginning of meekness.  We determine to remain meek even when we suffer.  Sometimes we will be reviled and persecuted for righteousness sake (Matt. 5:10-12).  We will not revile back if we are meek.  We will trust God to take care of the matter for us, even though we might have the power to avenge ourselves (Rom. 12:14-21).

Meekness is manifested when one has the power to avoid suffering by unjust persecution but accepts it.  Jesus meekly emptied Himself of His heavenly position to gently preach the kingdom of God to the Jews (Phil. 2:6-8).  He could have resisted death on the cross but He did not.  He was meek toward the desires of God for our sakes.  This is the manifestation of the emotional attitude of meekness.  It may appear to be difficult to develop; however, Jesus assured us His yoke is easy.  We must decide to accept His yoke before we can develop the emotion of meekness.

Jesus promised the meek would inherit the earth.  This, of course, is not to be understood in a sense of a literal inheritance of land and buildings; however, it could be if we are meek enough to be good stewards.   If we subject ourselves to the laws of nature the earth belongs to us because these laws work for us to survive physically.  We have the entire earth to explore, to subdue and from which to learn.  We will find it is a friendly earth.  The laws of government are made for God’s people (Romans 13:1-7).  They work for the benefit of godly people (I Tim. 1:8-11).

The following is a suggestive list of benefits for a meek Christian:

  1. Strong character because we accept God’s spiritual laws as good.
  2. Strong character as a result of tribulations.
  3. We reign in life with Jesus.  Rom. 5:17.
  4. Minimum problems with revilers because we do not revile in return.
  5. Minimal problems with laws of the land.
  6. No pain from “uncalled for” accidents.
  7. Social acceptance because we accept the unwritten rules of etiquette.
  8. New birth and justification by faith.
  9. Rewards from God that strengthen our character because we worship Him.

Our worship of God can never be in spirit and truth until we bow in meekness before His throne.  Only then will we truly inherit the earth (Matt. 6:33).


What is meekness?  The original Greek word, PRAOTES, or PRAUTES, is hard to translate into the English language without losing the real meaning.  Many times we use the word meekness in English to mean weakness.  Or we may refer to a person who has no power to help himself as a meek individual.  This is not what the Greeks had in mind at all when they heard the word PROATES.  PROATES actually describes an attitude of the heart, first of all toward God that His dealings with us are good.  It is that temper of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good; therefore, we live without resisting or disputing Him.  See the following scriptures for the usage of this word:

Titus 3:2.                   Be meek before all men.

Gal. 6:1.                     Restore the erring in meekness.

II Tim. 2:25.             Be meek with those who oppose themselves.

James 1:21.               Receive God’s word with meekness.

I Peter 3:15.              Explain our hope with meekness.

Our emotional attitude of meekness is first manifested before God.  It is His law of life for our spirit that came from Him.  Since Jesus Christ is the exact representation of God, we can understand how His life is a description of the phenomenon of the life of a spirit that came from God (Heb. 1:3).  The spirit of every baby comes from God (Heb. 12:9).  The child’s mind and heart is first impressed with the culture of the home and then the community.  This may be good: In some cases it is terribly bad.  The meek spirit of the mother is the child’s first lesson in its development of the emotion of meekness (I Pet. 3:4).  In any case, God wants to impress the culture of the society of His kingdom on every person’s self (Eph 4:20-24).

The key for developing the attitude of meekness comes from our having faith that God knows what is best for us.  He works all things for our good (Rom. 8:28).  For instance, Jesus said,  “it was more blessed to give than to receive,” yet this law is often disregarded or even restated in the form of a joke (Acts 20:35).  If we do not have an experimental faith attitude we cannot develop the attitude of meekness.  If we do, we will be happy and inherit the earth.  It is Jesus’ promise.

Questions for Discussion

  1. Define the word meek.
  2. How can we inherit the earth by developing the attitude of meekness?
  3. What is our reward for subjecting ourselves to the law of God?
  4. What is our reward for subjecting ourselves to the law of nature?
  5. What is the result when we do not subject ourselves to the law of nature?
  6. What are the rewards of subjecting ourselves to the laws of the State?
  7. What are the rewards for a child who is trained by a meek mother?
  8. What is the consequence for a child of being reared in a “know it all” home?
  9. When meekness is a part of our personality what will be our reaction when we are reviled and persecuted?
  10. What is the key for developing the attitude of meekness?

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