Jesus is clear that I will be more than happy if I am meek and gentle. I will in fact inherit the earth according to the “Jesus Manifesto” (Matthew 5 -7; aka the Sermon on the Mount). I think my arrogance is an issue Jesus wants me to deal with. More humility would go a long way in my life.
According to our dictionary, to be meek means you are “showing patience and humility, gentleness … easily imposed upon, submissive”. The meek one doesn’t throw fits or fly off the handle under pressure. A good synonym is “gentle”. A meek person is under control.
Jesus challenges me to learn from Him. Jesus is gentle. Jesus is humble. Jesus shows me how to have compassion and love.
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” | Matthew 11:29
Meekness is not weakness: it is power under control. As the writer of Proverbs says, “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city” (16:32). In contrast, the individual who is not gentle is likened to “a city that is broken into and without walls” (Proverbs 25:28). Gentleness always uses its resources appropriately, unlike the out-of-control emotions that so often are destructive and have no place in your life as a believer.
And don’t equate gentleness with cowardice, lack of conviction, or mere human niceness. It’s a virtue that draws courage, strength, conviction, and a good disposition from God, not from self-centered human resources. Jesus clearly could show His displeasure. Imagine being a merchant in the temple getting whipped and chased out. Imagine being a religious leader and getting called a snake.
God acts to save the meek
- Psalm 34:5–6 — They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Master heard him And saved him out of all his troubles.
- 2 Samuel 22:28 — “And You save an afflicted people; But Your eyes are on the haughty whom You abase.”
- Psalm 10:12 — Arise, O Master; O God, lift up Your hand. Do not forget the afflicted.
We must understand what “meek” means. The Greek word translated “meek” is praeis and refers to mildness, gentleness of spirit, or humility. Other forms of this Greek word are used elsewhere in the New Testament, including James 1:21 and James 3:13. Meekness is humility toward God and toward others. It is having the right or the power to do something but refraining for the benefit of someone else. Paul urged meekness when he told us “to live a life worthy of the calling [we] have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:1–2).
- Psalm 10:17 — O Master, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear
- Psalm 18:27 — For You save an afflicted people, But haughty eyes You abase.
- Psalm 45:4 — And in Your majesty ride on victoriously, for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
- Psalm 76:9 — When God arose to judgment, To save all the humble of the earth. Selah.
- Psalm 149:4 — For the Master takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.
- Proverbs 3:34 — Though He scoffs at the scoffers, Yet He gives grace to the afflicted.