Blessed are the Meek – Not the Weak

Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken

When Blessings Abound Series
The Beatitudes Attitude:
Passionately Pursuing Christlikeness
Through Desperate Dependence on Him

{ Blessed are the Meek – Not the Weak }

Blessed are the meek . . . (Mt. 5:5)

Moses was the meekest man in all the earth—meek, not weak

(Numbers 12:3)

When He was reviled He did not revile in return—meek, not weak

(I Peter 2:23)

Nevertheless, not my will but yours—meek, not weak

(Matthew 26:39, 42)

My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?—meek, not weak

(Matthew 27:46)

You whited sepulchers—weak?

(Matthew 23:27)

Get behind me, Satan—weak?

(Mark 8:33)

You would have no authority over me unless it had been given you from above—weak?

(John 19:11)

I have authority to lay down [my life] and I have authority to take it up again—weak?

[John 10:18]


Perhaps the most unexpected blessing on this most unlikely list of Beatitudes is blessed are the meek. Certainly this is one of the most difficult of the Beatitudes Attitude to understand. Throughout history Jesus has to be virtually the only leader to call meekness a blessing. Most of us see meekness as weakness, and weak is something that no leader can be. Yet, when we consider Moses, we can hardly think of the man who confronted Pharaoh and made the children of Israel drink melted down gold as weak. And if Moses was the meekest of men, Jesus had to match him because the Beatitudes are really a description of Jesus Himself and all that He in us.


If meekness is not weakness, what is it? Strength under submission, strength gladly surrendered in submission to the will of another for the good of others. So meekness is total, radical submission to the will of God (which included correction and confrontation for Jesus) out of love for Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit.


Total, radical submission to God when we want to say no and we chafe against it and face submission even unto shame as Jesus submitted. The world around us rejects this as senseless. The way to make it in life is to take control, assert myself, rise above others, take all I can get, submit to no one. But what does that get you? Death without resurrection.


But why submit so radically to God? Because of what Jesus is doing for us. Jesus took me from a black hole and is taking me to a matchless eternal glory. How can I not submit to the Father who gives this? Yet I can only submit through the power of the Holy Spirit.


Why shouldn’t I trust the Lord who loves me so greatly? Why, in some ways, did I not trust Him sooner? Why, in other ways, do I not trust Him more? These are the questions that my struggle with meekness raises. If you face the same questions, join me in this simple prayer.


O, God, make me the meekest man in all the earth!


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Bill Lawrence is the President of Leader Formation International, Senior Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Ministries and Adjunct Professor of DMin Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary where he served full-time for twenty-four years (1981-2005). During this time he also was the Executive Director of the Center for Christian Leadership for twelve years.