REFLECT – Day 11:
We are delving into “The Beatitudes” this Lent. Treating them like a detailed picture which reveals the beautifully complex and yet wonderfully accessible life that Jesus led and calls us into.
So far, we have covered two out of eight statements:
- ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’.
- ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted’
Jesus is poor in spirit, knowing his need of God. He mourns with compassion for the pain of the world. We too experience the harsh realities of life but have cling to the wonderful hope and comfort that are promised through the gospel of Christ.
It’s time for the third statement. Take some time to reread Matthew 5:1-10. It may be getting fairly familiar by now, but try to treat it as the first time your eyes and ears have seen and heard these wonderful words.
This third face of the portrait, ‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth’, takes us to a third quality at the heart of the character of Jesus: humility. Jesus stands in the long line of servants of God which stretches back to Moses, who was ‘more humble than anyone on the face of the earth’ (Numbers 14:2). Of course all these servants failed at points too and in this way Jesus goes beyond and stands above, living the life no other could: sinless and perfect.
However, as we will see, Jesus models meekness and the way of a servant throughout the gospels. Jesus then purposefully and systematically commends this life of service to his disciples.
Side note: Can you think of some times when Jesus did this? Note your thoughts down.
The early Church was quick to see humility at the very heart of God’s Son becoming a person: ‘he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness’ (Philippians 2:7). The Churches position in society also prompted ongoing humility, as a small religion in the midst of a pantheon of Gods, but that did not stop them from sharing their hope. In fact, their humility, and humble position, seemed to be part of the subversive message of the Gospel and God turned it into a strength.
Meekness is not to be confused with weakness. There is real strength in Jesus, combined with humility before God and others.
Perhaps their is strength to be received when we willing humble ourselves?
Still your mind. Take time to listen to the words of Jesus and repeat them several times with the rhythm of your breathing:
‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.’
What examples would you give from history or public life – or people you know – of true humility.