In Matthew 5:5, Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” What did Jesus mean by meek? And how do they inherit the earth?
Meekness is not weakness. Horses are large, powerful animals, but they are all wild, independent, and mistrustful of humans when they are born. They are useful to their owners only when they are tamed and made gentle. Then they can be ridden or hooked to a plow. To accept someone else’s direction is to be meek.
Later in Matthew, Jesus declared, “I am meek” while giving us this precious invitation: 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 meek and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. - Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus invites all with heavy burdens, worried, loaded down with work, exhausted, to come learn about His work, His heart and His Yoke. He wants us to learn that His burden is light. He wants us to learn that His heart is humble and meek and He wants to teach us that it is His Yoke that makes His burden light.
A yoke makes it possible for an animal like an ox to move a heavy load. A carpenter like Jesus would have made yokes that fit very well, that would be smooth inside so they would not irritate the animal. Jesus teaches the beatitude of meekness because He knows the Yoke He wears every day will make the burdens light and life easy for those who are struggling because they have no yoke.
Jesus shows us His meekness in John 8:29, saying, “I do always the things that please the Father.” That is the yoke Jesus wears. He is humble, always and completely submitted to His Father’s will. Psalm 2:8 tells us that Jesus will inherit every bit of the earth, and as “joint-heirs with Christ" according to Romans 8:17, it is part of our inheritance as well.
The word “disciple” and the word “discipline” come from the same root word. To be a disciple of Jesus is to discipline your plans and desires to match God’s. This blessed attitude of meekness before God carries Jesus’s promise that His disciples will inherit the earth. For us today, this simply means two things: (1) A disciple of Jesus will have a disciplined soul, mind, and life and (2) a disciple of Jesus gains everything when the Yoke of Jesus and His Father directs their life, all day long, every day.
Please take a moment to pray, humbling yourself before our loving Heavenly Father. Ask Him to give you His easy Yoke that leads you and empowers you to do His work.
This article is adapted from a lesson of the Mini Bible College, an online study of the whole Bible. We highly recommend their audio resources and written materials, available in many languages, to anyone who wants a stronger understanding of the Bible.