“BLESSED ARE THE MEEK, FOR THEY SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH.” – JESUS (MATTHEW 5:5)
IF I AM TRULY WILLING TO LEARN, GOD WILL TEACH ME EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW.
How do you measure meekness? Many may claim to posses it, bur how can it truly be discerned? There must be an active expression of this virtue that allows us to see either its presence or absence. I believe that the true confirmation of meekness is best demonstrated by teachableness. Are we or aren’t we teachable? This accountability of action becomes the proof of the presence of meekness. If we have all the outward appearance of meekness, i.e., gentleness, humility, or a certain religious piety, bur are stubbornly unteachable, our life lacks meekness.
Imagine meekness in relation to the work of a potter. The potter’s cask is to mold the clay into useful or artful objects. Much of his or her initial preparation is to soften the clay enough so that it can be formed into something desired. If the clay has become too dry and hardened, most likely it is unsuitable for transformation. The clay must be right in order for the potter to have any success. In fact, God Himself uses this very metaphor to describe His relationship to us.
“Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.” (Jeremiah 18:2-6)
God is the master potter and our lives are the clay. There are never any limitations concerning the ability of the heavenly craftsman to fashion His design. As long as the clay is workable, the master potter is guaranteed a successful outcome. Failure is never because of the potter, it is always because of the condition of the clay. If the clay is “meek” enough, the potter will start and finish his intended work. Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) What a beautiful promise from our loving Savior! We can come to Him and receive His heavenly rest for our troubled souls by taking up His yoke! And just what is the yoke of Christ that we are invited to put on? It is the yoke of teachableness. “Learn from Me.” He offers us the divine proposition to become His disciples of learning. The meek Master graciously offers us a glorious rest from the labor-some struggles and heavy burdens of this life.
The audience that heard Christ speak these words made an immediate visual connection in their minds when He said, “take My yoke upon you.” In ancient limes, and even until now in some regions of the world, farmers would train their oxen in the following manner: when a newly born ox was able, they would attach it to its mother as she went about her duties in plowing the field. A “junior” yoke was created that allowed the younger ox to walk in step with its mother as she plowed. This yoke kept the young ox close to her and helped it to learn to walk in the fields under the farmer’s control. Although the younger oxen was yoked there was no weight to be pulled; the much larger and monger ox did all the heavy work of pulling the plow. The entire purpose of the yoke attached between mother and offspring was for learning.
The parable of the sower, which many consider to be the most important parable of all, contains the key to understanding everything else He taught us.
And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”
“Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” (Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23)
Jesus gives the parable (mystery, riddle, proverb) then proceeds to open it and explain its meaning. God’s kingdom comes to mankind through the sowing of His Word. The parable then declares four different types of soil that the seed (Word ofGod) comes to. These soils become the emphasis of His teaching. Each of these represent four conditions of the human heart. The seed is always prosperous when the condition of the human heart. The seed is perfectly flawless. The difficulty always occurs in the soil (our souls).
In the first type of soil, the ground was entirely unprepared for the seed. It was unplowed and remained hard and incapable of receiving the seed. Because no prep work had been done, there wasn’t a chance for the seed to be productive. The lack of understanding or inability to successfully learn is something that we can and must overcome in order to “inherit the earth” and produce God’s Word through our life.
…incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding…
The second type of soil in Christ’s parable was also ultimately unsuccessful. Although it does initially welcome the seed, as the ground is shallow, its commitment is weak and unable to endure. Jesus said it endures only for a while. When adversity comes, it immediately wilts under the pressure. The Greek word for “endure” means “to persevere under pressure, have fortitude. stand firm; to hold one’s ground in conflict, bear up against adversity, and hold out under stress.” This represents the quality of our character (or lack of it) in expressing meekness by having a deep, unshakeable commitment to God and His Word.
The third type of soil is the soul that receives the Word and has enough depth so that the seed begins to prosper. The problem with this soil is that it also has weeds growing in it. Eventually the weeds choke out the fruitfulness of God’s Word. Plants with no fruit are not God’s best. Christians with no fruit are not God’s best either. If we pull the weeds, the seed can hear its fruit. By dealing with our thorns, the areas of compromise and worldly conformity, we can be productive, fruit-bearing believers.
The fourth type of soil was the only one of the four to successfully produce fruit. The Bible says that this person hears and understands me Word of God. They have plowed the soil of their heart by seeking and searching for understanding. They have established deep roots through patience and perseverance, which prepare them to overcome any adversity. They have developed holiness and Christ-likeness that help them overcome temptation and worldliness. The Word of God produces in their life because they have created a successful environment in their heart. Because they have truly become teachable, they now ready to inherit the earth of God’s kingdom and will. “Blessed are me meek for they shall inherit the earth.”
If we’re willing to learn, God will reach us everything we need to know to do everything He calls us to do, go everywhere He calls us to go, and have everything He’s called us to have.
Prayer for Teachableness
Father God, I ask You to give me a teachable spirit. I ask for understanding, wisdom, and revelation that I may learn and know truth from Your Word. I ask You for perseverance and godliness in order that Your Word may produce fruit in my life. Help me learn that I may follow, know, and please You with my life. Thank You for hearing my prayer. In Jesus name, Amen.