Friday, January 6, 2012
BLESSED ARE THE MEEK, FOR THEY WILL INHERIT THE EARTH
Johnson peered through the record books and grinned. Sales had doubled over last year. Nancy tapped him and they hugged. The ‘Boss’ as he was often called and his wife were well-known as the lovebirds of the city. They were married close to thirty years.
As they discussed how to invest the gains, there was a knock on the door. Both of them knew what was coming at this time of the year. Regis and the gang, the tax-collector boys, used their well-connected power to bulldoze and squeeze sizable amounts as their commission.
“Hi Boss! Good to see you,” Regis spoke obnoxiously. “It’s that time of the year again, yah?” he added with some misplaced excitement. Johnson smiled uncomfortably and calmly asked for the sum. “I heard business is booming and as per my calculation, it has to be a booming rate,” the bully said sarcastically.
“Regis, how much is enough for you?” Johnson asked sadly. “And what do you do with all the money you have collected for yourself?” he added.
“That’s none of your business, Boss!” Regis retorted. “I have some stuff to take care of.” Everyone in this suburb knew of his drinking habit. Often on drunken binges, he would involve in fights and skirmishes with other gangs.
“That’s not enough!” Regis angrily pushed away the stacks of notes Johnson had placed on the table. He sat down, looking away, waiting for a respond from the businessman. Nancy signalled to the husband to top it up as they usually would. Just before the cold war about to erupt, a group of men walked in the room where they were standing. “That’s enough!” one man shouted.
The lovebirds had been great philanthropists for a long time. Many men and women were helped and nurtured by the caring couple. The poor and the down-trodden went to them for assistance whenever they suffer lack. The Johnsons never turned away anyone that genuinely needed help. Their employees were the most fortunate workers in the city, everyone from the top down received a fair share of year-end bonuses. The couple would then invest their money in order to help even more people.
“I think you know Johnson well enough that every cent that he gained is being used to give back to society. What about you?” a well-built man spoke. One could easily sense the deep conviction that filled his soul. Johnson’s humility and concern for people had him many close-knitted friends and protectors. They were like a big family to him and his wife.
Regis was taken aback by Johnson’s supporters. More people came pouring into the house, shouting praises to the couple. Surrounded by people power and to save from embarrassment, he just wanted to take the money and leave. But Johnson quickly took the money from the table and topped with some extra cash. He then grabbed Regis’ hand and placed the money on it.
“Everything I have belongs to God. It was God who gave me the ability to make wealth,” Johnson shared. “Wealth can change a person. He can become arrogant and proud, lording over everything and everyone. At the end, this person will not gain an inch of respect from anyone,” he added with a serious tone. At this time, Regis was seen bowing in disgrace.
“Regis, can I take you and your boys to a person whom many people said he is the Messiah who was prophesied to come?” Johnson asked. “That Man from God struck a chord with me when I heard he did many things for the poor, especially the poor,” he added.
“We heard of many miraculous healings taken place,” Nancy chipped in excitedly.
“Do you know why all these people are here? We decided together to hear this person out,” Johnson tried to convince him.
“Ehhh…okay, since I am free today and see what he has to say,” Regis agreed reluctantly.
A large crowd had already gathered when they arrived. Everyone was anticipating what Jesus had to say. Regis and the boys stood near the Johnsons. All eyes were on ‘The Messiah’ who would speak in a short while.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth,” Jesus spoke with such poise and clarity.
As Jesus paused, Johnson stood there stunned. “Inherit the earth??” he pondered deeply. He could see those he helped, their teary eyes glancing at him. It was kind of a ‘God-sees-everything-you-did-for-me’ look. The philanthropist businessman could not believe his ears to hear such wonderful words. He did wonder at times was it really worth it to help people. Does God really see? As he stood there lost in his thoughts, Regis tapped on his shoulder and whispered, “Boss, you were right! You deserve all the respect and I…I need to repent.”
The third beatitude speaks of strength under control. Meekness is definitely not weakness. Whenever the old adage “the survival of the fittest” comes into play, it portrays a wrong concept of brute strength, whether one has it or not, in order to win respect. He will bulldoze his way into prosperity, fame and recognition, no matter what, no matter who gets hurt. She will charm her way into promotion, wealth or glory without giving second thought to decency.
Meekness that Jesus speaks about here talks of a willing submission to God and to authority. It describes a person who is yielded to God’s commands. In contrast, a wild-spirited person of the world will not gain respect from anyone and never God’s approval. Humility is often the trademark of a believer of Christ as one knows it is God who saves him or her. It is a mark of strength believing that God has everything under control.
The Greek word, “Praus” in meekness represents an image of a powerful horse under control. Jesus shown us the greatest example of meekness when he was arrested, put on a mock trial, tortured and ultimately dying on the cross. All throughout the ordeal, never a single time that he was helpless! He could just blow up the world into smithereens but he did not. Angels just waiting for a whisper of command to wipe out the entire Roman Empire but the order never came!
(Mat 26:53) Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?
(John 10:17-18) The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.
NEXT: Blessed Are Those Who Hunger And Thirst For Righteousness, For They Will Be Filled