The Humble

Matthew 5:5

Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth. (CSB)

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.(ESV)

God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. (NLT)

The gentle are blessed, for they will inherit the earth. (HCSB)

Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the gentle [the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth. (Amplified Bible)

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. (The Message)

For the duration of this study I am going to use the same versions in each post. That will keep things consistent and less confusing. Because I pulled up the HCSB last time I went ahead and included it in this one as well. Once again it is a slightly different. It’s interesting that the CSB (which is a revision of the HCSB) differs that much. Of course, when looking at the intended meanings I don’t guess they differ that much at all. I do want to give another shout out to the Amplified Bible. Like I said last time, I really am starting to appreciate it more now that I have looked at it. As I searched this passage on biblegateway.com I noticed that there’s also something called the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition. I assume that it has been revised just like most other versions. That made me wonder, “How different (if any) is it from the current Amplified Bible?

Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth! 

I was somewhat surprised to see that it is actually quite different. I am now curious about those two versions and will be doing more research on them in the future. That, however, will have to wait for another post.

We have already discussed what it means to be “blessed” in the context of this passage so we won’t spend any more time on that other than to say that true blessedness/happiness can only be found when one is progressing along this Kingdom Path. The part we do want focus in on is this business about inheriting the earth. What exactly is Jesus suggesting here? Are those who are humble/meek/gentle going to actually rule over the earth at some point in the future? I am inclined to disagree because we know that Jesus is the King of Kings and he is the only one who will rule in the end. So what does it mean?

In The Chronological Life Of Christ, Mark Moore suggests that this is a “laughable paradox” (166) when one considers the role those who are meek or mild play in a culture that is driven by selfishness. It was true in Jesus’ day and it remains true today as well. You do not get ahead unless you are self-serving and willing to step on others to move ahead. There is no room for gentleness or meekness. Only the strong survive. Moore suggests that there is a connection between being “poor” and “humble” that bridges our personal recognition and public recognition of our place before Almighty God.

I said that this statement is not referring to the acquisition of material wealth but there is some aspect of that in this teaching. Romans 8:17 says that we are co-heirs with Christ. Likewise, 2 Corinthians 6:10 says that we posses all things in Christ (Moore 166). Jesus’ statement is actually a reference to Psalm 37.

10 A little while, and the wicked person will be no more;
though you look for him, he will not be there.
11 But the humble will inherit the land
and will enjoy abundant prosperity. (CSB)

We will live as co-heirs with Jesus when he establishes his eternal kingdom on the new earth. It will be somewhat like Eden recreated where Adam and Ever were supposed to exercise dominion over God’s creation as His representatives. So the eschatological element does address the actual inheritance of Paradise Restored but in the original context I believe Jesus was talking about right then and right there as well. Those who followed him would be partners with him in his ministry to the lost, they would eventually be filled with the Spirit when he left, and finally they would continue his kingdom work until he returned.

Another aspect could be that because this is God’s world and He rules in completely, we, as His adopted children are the rightful heirs. If that is in deed the case then it’s a matter of us reclaiming what was once ours. This world was created with us in mind and we were to be God’s crown jewel. Our sin tarnished all that but Jesus came to reconcile not only us but all of creation back to the Creator. Those who truly following Christ are taking their birthright back from the enemy through the blood of Christ.

As with much of Jesus’ teachings, it is about attitude. We cannot claim to own any of it or forcefully take any of it. It’s not ours for the taking. It’s only through humble and gentle obedience to Christ that we are put back in the place God intended for us in the beginning.

May God our Father give you grace and peace.

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