May 16, 2021
BLESSED ARE THE MEEK,
FOR THEY SHALL HUNGER AND THIRST
The Beatitudes begin with Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 5:3) This is quickly followed by Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4) These two Beatitudes work in conjunction with each other. The second follows the first in natural progression. Then we move to the next, Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (NIV)
Once you have realized you are Poor in Spirit and you Mourn over your condition, you should realize how Meek you are before God. You should realize that in yourself you are weak and there is nothing you can do for God. However, in Christ, you can be strong, only after you realize your weakness. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10) (NIV) You can become strong when you realize your true place in Christ and in the Body of Christ. When that happens, you begin to Hunger and Thirst for Him and for His Righteousness. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6 (NIV) This is when you start your growth that leads to Sanctification.
John Wesley spoke a lot about Sanctifying Grace and Sanctification. It is the third step in the three steps of Grace we realize in our lives when our lives are in Christ. The first Means of Grace we encounter, we might not even know, or realize is in place, and that is Prevenient Grace. Next comes Justifying Grace at that moment when you say Yes to Christ. Then comes God’s Sanctifying Grace that covers us and works on us throughout the rest of our Christian life.
So, as we walk through the Beatitudes we see words that Jesus uses that may be different in meaning than we are used to hearing. Meekness, as Jesus uses it, is different from a state of weakness as the world would think. To be Meek is to realize one’s place in Christ and embrace it. I am Meek because I am standing before a Holy God; and I know it. Being Poor in Spirit is a negative and results in Mourning. Meekness is a positive and results in seeking God’s Righteousness.
Here we see the beauty of the sequencing of the Beatitudes. First comes brokenness, the sense of sinfulness. Then comes the Hunger and Thirsting for restoration. You move from being supposedly self-sufficient to realizing you are insufficient, and you begin seeking God’s sufficiency. And Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9 God’s Grace is Sufficient for all we need, But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (NIV)
The Meek person has died to self, and never worries about their own injury. John Bunyan once said, “He who is down needs fear no fall.” When you are at the bottom the only way is up.
Jesus never defended Himself. But, when His Father’s Temple was desecrated He lashed out at the offenders. A Meek person never defends self, but always defers to God and stands for God.
Jesus introduced this great sermon by saying it was happiness He’s after; it’s blessedness He’s offering. The Beatitudes are the way to achieve that happiness, that blessedness.
All of Matthew is about Jesus the King. And in this sermon He is showing us the way to His Kingdom. To enter the Kingdom, you must realize you are Poor in Spirit. To continue to live in His Kingdom you must continue to recognize your Spiritual poverty.
Unsaved people thirst for happiness and hunger for fulfillment, but they look for it in all the wrong places. The old country hit song was exactly right they are “looking for love in all the wrong places.” The heart of every person in the world, believer, and nonbeliever, was created with a hunger for God. Jesus knew people were Spiritually hungry and He offered Himself as bread for their hunger. Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35-51) (NIV) He knew they were thirsty and offered Himself as water. Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and Who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:10-14) (NIV)
Now, look how this all fits together… happiness is brokenness, mourning leads to meekness, then once you are meek before the Lord you begin to hunger and thirst for righteousness, His Righteousness. The results of each of these steps leads to the place you are looking for. Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven; they shall be comforted; they shall inherit the earth; they shall be satisfied. Everything we have been looking for, and just didn’t know where to find it.
5/16/21 Bostwick UMC