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In the sermon on the mount, Jesus said: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). Meek is a small word but one which, in the light of what Jesus was saying, is of great significance, for it portrays an aspect of human character that is pleasing to God. It was a trait that Jesus saw was lacking in the Jewish leaders of his day.

The English word covers the word in the Greek text which means humble and lowly. These descriptions represent the very opposite of arrogance, a characteristic which was so often exhibited by the Jewish rulers - the Pharisees, who tried to trap Jesus in the things he taught and did. Jesus would have been very aware of the lack of meekness in the Roman occupying powers who were overbearing and did not spare the Christian believers.

Jesus himself was the very essence of meekness as the prophet Isaiah so eloquently revealed a long time before Jesus was born. “He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearer is silent, so he opened not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7). As the prophet Zechariah writes, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold your king is coming to you: he is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey and a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9).

In today’s world of high pressure commercial business, self-assertion and a confident manner are basic requirements for success. There would seem to be no place here for meekness and gentleness.Of course, there are Christian believers in business as in public life who are both humble and gentle, but competitive society generally lies in the opposite direction. Quite clearly, the teaching of Christ and his apostles is that the believer should not become a party to unbridled ambition. Jesus encouraged all who received his message of salvation with humility and meekness to put their trust and hope in him. He always dealt gently with these who came to him, his own humbleness of heart standing out in sharp contrast to the dictatorial oppressive attitude of the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders who sought continuously to oppose what he taught about God and himself, the son of God and true Messiah.

Only Jesus was able to offer real consolation to all over-burdened and exploited people that he saw about him as he soothed their feelings using lovely words which must have been like a balm to those who heard him. “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29).

Bro David & Sis Jacklyne Wanjala (Chwele, Kenya)

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