Grasping at Bubbles

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


I love watching children chase after bubbles. Their faces are full of excitement as a flood of bubbles are blown into the sky. They run chasing after them hoping to pop as many as they can. Although most of the children want to pop the bubbles, there are a few that want try and catch them. Those children soon realize that it is impossible to grasp the bubbles with force, but rather they must be gentle if they want to catch them. Children must learn to keep their power under control as bubbles cannot be captured by force.

As with children catching bubbles, one cannot inherit the earth through the assertion of force. Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Meekness has often been defined not as weakness, but rather as power under control.  Jesus calls Himself meek in Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle (meek) and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jesus was not weak, but chose to live in humility and gentleness. He did not assert His authority, but became obedient to death even death on a cross. He kept His power under control as He laid down His life.

The most natural way the 1st century audience would have understood meekness was a state of powerlessness. The word was used to express an, “inability to forward one’s own cause; and in every case God either has, does, will, may be expected to, or should come to the rescue.[1]” The believer recognizes his complete powerlessness and inability to bring about his own salvation. He has no power and no ability to inherit the earth, but has to entrust his life to God who is the only one who can provide deliverance. God has provided deliverance through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

We will not inherit the earth until we first recognize our powerlessness in salvation. We must cast ourselves onto the promise of our Savior Jesus Christ.  He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through His resurrection from the dead. We cannot grasp salvation through force, but only can receive it through meekness.

Beloved, would your life be characterized by laying down your rights or exerting your authority? Do you desire for others to see you as meek or as strong? Let us embrace meekness and follow in the footsteps of our Savior who is meek and lowly in heart.

[1] Nolland John. (2005). Preface. In The Gospel of Matthew: a commentary on the Greek text (p. 201). Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press.