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Matthew 5:5 (ESV) … “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Jesus said of himself, “I am gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29). As the incarnation of meekness, he displayed it in two ways, both of which showed his power.

In respect to his own person, he practiced neither retaliation nor vindictiveness. When he was mocked and spat upon, he answered nothing, for he trusted his Father. As we have noted, when he was confronted by Pilate, he kept silent. When his friends betrayed him and fled, he uttered no reproach. When Peter denied him, Jesus restored him to fellowship and service. When Judas came and kissed him in Gethsemane, Jesus called him “friend.” And Jesus meant it. He was never insincere. Even in the throes of death, he pleaded, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). In all of this Jesus, meek and mild, was in control. He radiated power.

Yet, when it came to matters of faith and the welfare of others, Jesus was a lion. He rebuked the Pharisees’ hardness of heart when he healed the man’s withered hand on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:9–45). He was angered when his disciples tried to prevent little children from coming to him (Mark 10:13–16). Jesus made a whip and drove the moneychangers from the temple (John 2:14–17). He called Peter “Satan” after the outspoken fisherman tried to deter him from His heavenly mission (Matthew 16:21–23). All of this came from Jesus, the incarnation of gentleness.

Bringing this all together, we have an amazing picture. The one who is meek has a gentle spirit because he trusts God. Indeed, there is a caress about his presence. At the same time the meek person possesses immense strength and self-control, which he exhibits in extending love rather than retaliation against those who do him evil. He stands up fearlessly in defense of others or of the truth as the occasion arises.[1]

[1] Hughes, R. K. (2001). The sermon on the mount: the message of the kingdom (pp. 35–36). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

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