In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus opens with a series of statements known as the Beatitudes. The third Beatitude is “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth”Matthew 5:5. Jesus’ words echo Psalm 37, “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” Psalm 37:11
First, we must understand what it means to be blessed. The Greek word translated “blessed” in this verse can also be translated “happy.” The idea is that a person will have joy if he or she is meek. The blessedness is from God’s perspective, not our own. It is a spiritual prosperity, not necessarily an earthly happiness.
Also, we must understand what “meek” means. The Greek word translated “meek” is praeisand 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 saying..“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;” Ephesians 4:1–2
Meekness models the humility of Jesus the Christ. “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”Philippians 2:6–8
Being “in the very nature God,” Jesus had the right to do whatever He wanted, but, for our sake, He submitted to “death on a cross.” That is the ultimate in meekness. Meekness was also demonstrated by godly leaders in the Old Testament. “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” Numbers 12:3
Believers are called to share the gospel message in gentleness and meekness. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” 1 Peter 3:15
Someone who knows Christ as personal Savior will grow in meekness. It may seem counterintuitive, but Jesus’ promise stands—a meek person will be happy or blessed. Living in humility and being willing to forego one’s rights for the benefit of someone else models the attitude of Jesus Christ. Meekness also helps us to more effectively share the gospel message with others. Striving for power and prestige is not the path to blessedness. Meekness is.