Church of Christ
Locks Cross Roads
3) Matthew 5 - Beatitudes continued
Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek.  Other translations for "meek" (praus) are: gentle, humble, considerate,
unassuming, and courteous.

This word of Jesus does everything but cheer the hopes of those fierce nationalists who were itching for Roman
blood in the realization of their dreams of a messianic kingdom that would proudly dominate the entire non-Jewish

What sway Jesus holds over men today just because He chose not to rule the world by an iron fist!  He chose rather
the path of gentle courtesy and unselfish giving and how many would not joyfully accept the plundering of their
property or public abuse and affliction for His sake?  Jesus was meek (Matthew 11:29), and the earth became His to
rule (Philipians 2:5-11, Ephesians 1:19-22).
But meekness does not always require the surrender of one's rights.  Jesus and Paul both asserted their rights,
without trampling upon those of others.  See John 18:19-23, Acts 16:37, Acts 22:25 and following verses.

Those who inherit the earth are and always have been those that God could teach.  Without real humility a man
cannot learn, since the prerequisite of learning is the admission of one's own ignorance.

A study of Psalms 37:9, 11, 22, 29, 34 will demonstrate that this phrase is almost a proverbial expression for "the
highest of blessings," although, any Jew would quite readily and rightly have understood it to mean the promised
possession which was the land of Palestine (Genesis 15:7-8, Genesis 28:4, Exodus 32:13, Leviticus 20:24,
Deuteronomy 16:20, Psalms 25:13, Psalms 69:36, Isaiah 57:13, Isaiah 60:21, Isaiah 65:9, Ezekiel 33:23-29).

This application is that man must be ready to move with God from His revelation of a "promised land," which meant a
small tract of land on the eastern Mediterranean coast, to His revelation of a "promised earth." (2 Peter 3:13)
How do we enjoy the earth more fully in this life?  Why? Because, more than any others, we enjoy what God sends.  
The wicked, in their rush to possess, usually miss or overlook the best of this world, or else, having seen it, they
refuse to pay the price to gain it, or having gained it, they are miserable.

Our character should guarantee a greater measure of peace and stability.  Our calmness allows time for better
judgment, our contentment assures our safety under law, and our sense of justice builds confidence.

The irony is complete: they who struggle most feverishly to gain the whole world, in the end lose it all, while they who
cheerfully, generously and humbly seek the good of others inherit it all, the new heaven and the new earth.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness.  Jesus challenges our real
desire for goodness.  Are you so intensely and sharply pained by your need of true righteousness that you would
die unless you get it?  Just how badly do you want to be righteous?  See Matthew 13:44-46.

Such questions criticize our satisfaction with partial goodness, half-way accomplishment and partly-kept promises to
be good.  Jesus cannot leave men in peace if He is to convert them.  The self-sufficient, the smugly self-complacent
and the self-righteous are the only people on earth beyond the help of God.

A full man feels no need to eat or drink (Luke 6:25).  A man's moral health and personal righteousness really
depend upon whether he thinks himself to have arrived.  If he thinks he has, he hasn't.
This is a tormenting hunger for a right character or right standing before God.  It must by its nature, admit the faulty
character and dangerous position of those who seek righteousness.

Jesus promises satisfaction, not satiation which destroys interest or desire.

Jesus Himself is God's answer to our deepest need for righteousness.  We must come to Him as empty pitchers to a
full fountain to be filled.  God's ability to supply always exceeds our demand, but He supplies in proportion to our
demand.  Thus, God judges us by the dreams that drive us, as much as by our few accomplishments.

There is a sense in which it might be said that the entire world is hungering and thirsting for righteousness because
of its obvious need.  But the world is not blessed until it comes to Jesus (John 4:13-14, John 6:27 and following
verses, John 7:37-39, Romans 10:1-4) who is all the righteousness that is needed (1 Corinthians 1:30).
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