Matthew 5:5 - Blessed are the Meek

Matthew 5:5 - Blessed are the Meek

Sermon in the Mount


Its important to keep reminding us that it is not good enough to live out many of the beatitudes.  The beatitudes are not like a credit score.  If you are living out 7 of the 8 beatitudes that is a excellent score; 5-6 is a good score; 3-4 fair; or 2 and lower poor score.  This was never the plan that Jesus had when He preached these beatitudes.  Each of these beatitudes should be lived out in every Christian.  The truth is we should live out all the beatitudes. After all, we have God living is us and empowering us.  

Why is not it good enough for us to live out many but not all of the beatitudes? 

  • Our comparison is not man but God.  It is important that we follow Godly men, as in the case of the Apostle Paul.  Paul told his disciples on many occasions to follow him; he wanted to be an example to his followers.  But our comparison is with God, not Godly men!  Even though I follow many of the same principles in my ministry as does my pastor, my comparison is not with his ministry but the Book!  One day I will have to give an account before God, not based upon Brother Head’s ministry but this Book!  
  • The principles of discipleship demand us to live out all the beatitudes.  The discipleship process is a missing element in our churches.  We tend to view discipleship as a one-hour Bible study, once a week.  Yet, this view completely contradicts the Biblical context of discipleship.  Discipleship is about us giving our lives for others in such a way that they can understand the commands of Jesus by viewing our lives.  The beatitudes we do not live out, may never be lived out in the lives of our students.  We may produce a generation of unhealthy Christians because we were unwilling to surrender ourselves to the beatitudes.  

To this point in our study we have examined two beatitudes:

  • Matthew 5:3

Matthew 5:3KJV 1900

Blessed arethe poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

This is the foundational beatitude.  This is salvation.  No one can be saved until they are broken spiritually by their sin.  Several years back I worked with a Mormon.  Before converting to Mormonism, he was as an alcoholic.  His alcoholism was the prime-motivator that moved him to desire more from himself and convert to Mormonism.  This is not what is meant by “poor in spirit.”  The “poor in spirit” understands that alcoholism is a manifestation of the disease.  The disease is a sinful nature and understanding this leaves people without strength, incapable of doing anything good.  

Romans 5:6 

Romans 5:6KJV 1900

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

  • Matthew 5:4 

Matthew 5:4KJV 1900

Blessed arethey that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Mourning is to be broken over sin.  Today we are more invested in not offending our feelings or emotions or sense of right and wrong or convictions that we no longer mourn over offending God or His word!  The benefit of mourning is being comforted by God.  How does mourning over our sin move God in comforting us?  1 John 1:9.

1 John 1:9KJV 1900

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us oursins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Never just read over the phrase “if we confess our sins” believing it is a simple process.  Before we can get to the point of confessing sins we must have a poor in spirit and mournful attitude over the sin.  The word “confess” means to agree with God; that He is right and we are wrong.  There are two ways I usually confess I am wrong and someone else is right:

  • Out of anger or frustration.  I come to the realization that I am wrong but I am not happy with being wrong.  I would rather be right and the other person wrong. This confession is not what John mentions in 1 John 1:9.
  • Out of brokenness and sorrow.  I come to realize that I am wrong, and this realization breaks me and causes me to mourn over sinning against my Lord and Savior.  I willfully, confess that He is right and I am wrong.  Along, with a desire to be in the right path as opposed to the wrong path.  This produces a divine comfort because Jesus “is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  

This evening our focus is the third beatitude - Matthew 5:5 

Matthew 5:5KJV 1900

Blessedarethe meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

For many this is the hardest to live out and understand.


  • On one hand, here is what we know of Jesus:

Matthew 11:29KJV 1900

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Matthew 21:5KJV 1900

Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

He is meek, lowly and gentle.

  • Yet, on the other hand, here is what else we know about Jesus:

Matthew 21:12–13KJV 1900

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

  • How do we reconcile these seeming contradictions?
  1. In the vocabulary of the ancient Greek language, the meekperson was not passive or easily pushed around. The main idea behind the word “meek” was strength under control, like a strong stallion that was trained to do the job instead of running wild.  
  2. Therefore, whenever it was about ministry, truth or the Lord’s House He was not meek and lowly; either was He arrogant but authoritative.  
  3. Whenever the situation was about false accusations against Him, He was meek and lowly

To put that in another way, the man who is praus is the man who is kindled by indignation at the wrongs and the sufferings of others, but is never moved to anger by the wrongs and the insults he himself has to bear. So, then, the man who is (as in the Authorized Version), meek is the man who is always angry at the right time but never angry at the wrong time.

When I was a kid I use to watch the old black-and-white Superman television show; and even as a child, I knew that - whatever else Clark Kent was - he certainly wasn't "weak". He perhaps presented himself as a 'weakling'; but that was just to hide his real identity - just like anyone who had x-ray vision obviously didn't really need glasses! Sure; he'd behave 'meek and mild-mannered' in front of Lois and Jimmy and Mr. White; and he would never use his great powers to serve his own interests. But all the kids knew that, as soon as anyone was in trouble, he'd jump out the window and fly to their rescue! 

The lesson for us is:

  1. When opposition, insults and provocation come our way, we should be meek.
  2. But, when the argument is about truth (not about us but God’s word) or ministry we must be soldiers.  


To be meek requires an inward change - Therefore Meekness is an outgrowth of a divine nature.  

Consider how hard it is to be meek:

Proverbs 16:32KJV 1900

He that isslow to anger isbetter than the mighty;And he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

In April 2004 President Bush gave a press conference.  One of the last questions asked was:

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.

In the last campaign, you were asked a question about the biggest mistake you'd made in your life, and you used to like to joke that it was trading Sammy Sosa.

You've looked back before 9-11 for what mistakes might have been made. After 9-11, what would your biggest mistake be, would you say, and what lessons have learned from it?

BUSH: I wish you'd have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it.

John, I'm sure historians will look back and say, gosh, he could've done it better this way or that way. You know, I just -- I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn't yet.

President Bush went on the justify his war with Iraq.  The point of the question was not necessarily connected with - should we have gone to war with Iraq; rather, have there been some mistakes along the way.  No war has ever been fought without mistakes.  My point is not to criticize President Bush but to show how hard it is to be meek.  

So how do we live meekness?  Never forget context

The context of who we are:

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says "A man can never be meek unless he is poor in spirit. A man can never be meek unless he has seen himself as a vile sinner. These other things must come first.

Pride rises and Meekness falters when we forget who we were before God saved us.  

Romans 5:6KJV 1900

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Psalm 143:2KJV 1900

And enter not into judgment with thy servant:For in thy sight shall no man living be justified.

Isaiah 53:6KJV 1900

All we like sheep have gone astray;We have turned every one to his own way;And the Lordhath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Romans 3:9–12KJV 1900

What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Mark 7:21–23KJV 1900

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Jeremiah 17:9KJV 1900

The heart isdeceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Titus 1:15–16KJV 1900

Unto the pure all things arepure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving isnothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Ephesians 2:3KJV 1900

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

  1. The only reason we are standing in grace is God
  2. The only reason we know truth is God
  3. The only reason we have a wonderful inheritance is God
  4. The only reason we will reign one day is God
  5. The only reason we could ever be right is God

Is not this the idea of:

Galatians 6:1KJV 1900

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

In and of ourselves we are nothing without God!

We must never forget the context of where we are going 

Hebrews 10:34KJV 1900

For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

We are so invested in fighting the here and now that we tend to lose sight of the then and there.  

I wonder how many Christians have forever lost their testimonies through pride, instead of meekness.  Yes, we may have won a temporal battle but lost an eternal reward.  


  • A. Barnes: Meekness is the reception of injuries with a belief that God will vindicate us. “Vengeance is his; he will repay,” Rom 12:19. It little becomes us to take his place, and to do what he has promised to do.
  • D. Guzik: We can only be meek, willing to control our desire for our rights and privileges because we are confident God watches out for us, that He will protect our cause. The promise “they shall inherit the earth” proves that God will not allow His meekones to end up on the short end of the deal.


Meekness is the attitude expressed by John Bunyan in The Pilgrim’s Progresswriting…

He that is down needs fear no fall,
He that is low no pride;
He that is humble ever shall
Have God to be his guide.