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White Capitol Commission

MATTHEW 5:5 – Blessed Are The Gentle

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn.” We are all saying, Are you kidding me, this does not even make sense. This is a paradox for sure. Blessed are the miserable? Blessed are the sad? Yes, that is exactly what Jesus is saying. Blessed are those who mourn their spiritual bankruptcy before God and share the same heart that God has about our bankruptcy.

MATTHEW 5:1-12 – Greatest Sermon Ever Preached

(1) “When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. (2) He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying, (3) Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (4) Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (5) Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. (6) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteous, for they shall be satisfied. (7) Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. (8) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (9) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (10) Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (11) Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. (12) Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:1-12

A.  What does it mean to be Gentle?, Matthew 5:5

“Blessed are the Gentle, for they shall inherit the earth”

What is Gentleness that God wants us to have. Let’s look at the definition, but God desires us to be useful in the kingdom. He wants us to be broken so then we can be used of God to share His Holiness and purity. We cannot carry out this goal as we are just full of ourselves. Let look close at this word “Gentle.”

“Gentle” Greek Praos” Meaning mild or soft. The word was used of colts or other animals whose natural wild spirits were broken by a trainer so that they could do useful work. In a human attitude, it meant being gentle of spirit, meek, submissive, quiet, tender hearted. This word gives the sense of harnessing the undirected power of an unbroken animal. It is power under control.

So what is the difference between being “Poor in Spirit” and being “Gentle?” The “Poor in Spirit” focuses on our own self, sinfulness of pride, when “Gentleness’ focuses on God’s holiness. Humility is a part of both virtues. When we look honestly at ourselves, we are made humble by seeing how sinful and unworthy we are; when we look at God, we are made humble by seeing how righteous and worthy He is.1

Gentleness is a positive attitude and causes us to turn toward God in seeking His righteousness. Being “Poor in Spirit’ is a negative attitude and actually causes us to mourn at our own sinfulness. This enables us to then look to Christ and seek His character of righteousness, which is the next point in Christ’s Sermon in verse 6. The blessing of the Beatitudes are for those who are realistic about their sinfulness. These are the one’s who repent of their sins and are responsive to God in His righteousness. Those who are unblessed, unhappy and shut out of the kingdom are the proud, the arrogant and the unrepentant. These are the self-sufficient and self-righteous, who feel no need for God, His help or His righteousness.

As men and women who do not follow or believe in Christ, their main objective is to justify their own ways, defending their own rights and serving their own ends.

The way of “Gentleness” was not their way and therefore the true kingdom was not their kingdom. Gentleness and Meekness has always been God’s way for man.

In Job 5:11 we are told that God “Sets on high those who are lowly and those who mourn are lifted to safety”

In Numbers 12:3 it is said of Moses “was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth”

In Ephesians 4:1-2 Paul says to the Ephesians “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have veen called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love.”

Paul told the Colossians in Colossians 3:12 “put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Paul told Titus in Titus 3:1-2 “to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.”

Gentleness / Meekness as we have seen before is power put under control. A colt unbroken is of no value. Medicine that is too strong will harm rather than give a cure. Emotion out of control will destroy and has no place in God’s kingdom. Gentleness uses the power it has appropriately.

The gentle / meek person does not defend himself, first of all, because this is the Lord’s command and example second, because he knows that he does not deserve defending. Being poor in Spirit and having mourned over his sinfulness, the “gentle” person stands humbly before God, knowing he has nothing to commend himself.2

The spirit of “Gentleness” is the Spirit of Christ – Who defended the Glory of His Father, but gave Himself in sacrifice for others.

Gentleness / meekness carries courage, strength, conviction and a certain pleasantness. These traits come only from God, not from our self.

B.  How is Gentleness lived out in our lives?

The meek person is gentle and mild in his own cause, though he may be a lion in God’s cause or in defending others.3

One example we have in the Old Testament of this trait is the story of Joseph. We know from Genesis 37, 39-45 that Joseph dealt with his brothers kindly even when they had sold him into slavery. What Joseph’s brothers meant for harm, God meant for good. Joseph understood that God was sovereign and he wanted to carry out God’s plan not his own. God used Joseph to preserve the lives of so many during the seven-year famine in the land of Egypt and surrounding countries. In gentleness and meekness, Joseph understood that it was God’s place to judge and his to forgive and help.

As we mentioned earlier, Moses was called “very humble, more that any man who was on the face of the earth” Numbers 12:3. Yet, Moses killed and Egyptian who was beating some Hebrew slaves, He faced up to Pharaoh to demand the release of his people, Moses was so angry at the orgy that Aaron and the people were having around the golden calf that he smashed the first set of tablets of the Ten Commandments. What we see is that Moses vented his anger against those who harmed and enslaved his people and who reveled against God. Moses did not vent his anger against those who abused him, or demanded personal rights and privileges.4

David was chosen by God to replace Saul as Israel’s king.

When he was in the cave of Engedi, he had the opportunity to take Saul’s life, as Saul had done against David so many times and he refused to do so. David had such a respect for the office of the king. David’s conscience bothered him because he had cut off the edge of Saul’s robe. Go back and read this account in 1Samuel 24.

C.  The result of Gentleness.

As in the other Beatitudes, the general result of being gentle or meek is receiving God’s blessing. God gives the “gentle” His joy and gladness. What we see in this verse is the “gentle shall inherit the earth.” God gave man dominion over the earth as we see in Genesis 1:28. Someday, we as God’s children and subjects of His kingdom, are going to inherit the earth as God promised.

Christ is saying again as in verses 3 and 4 that only those, “they” who are “gentle” shall inherit the earth.

Most Jews thought that the coming great kingdom of the Messiah would belong to the strong, of whom the Jews would be the strongest. But the Messiah Himself said that it would belong to the “gentle,” the meek and to the Jew and Gentile alike.5

“Inherit” Greek Kleronomeo” This word refers to the receiving of one’s allotted portion, one rightful inheritance.

Psalm 37:11 says “But the humble will inherit the land…” The Jews of the Old Testament and we today wonder why the wicked and godless seem to prosper and the righteous and godly seem to suffer. In Psalm 37:10 one verse up, David says: “Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; and you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.”

The wicked person’s time of judgement is coming as is the righteous person’s time of blessing. Our responsibility is to trust the Lord and obey His will. The settling of accounts is in His hands and will be accomplished in God’s time. 

It is certain “that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” 1Corinthians 6:9 Be assured that one day the Lord will take the earth form the hands of the wicked and give it to His righteous people. Take a minute and read Psalm 149:7-9. Our Sovereign God is in Control. May we be “blessed” because of our “gentleness” as we rest in the arms of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Bible Studies


Tuesday at 7:15am, Capitol Basement, Room 0109




1 John MacArthur Commentary Series, Matt 1-7, Pg.170

2John MacArthur Commentary Series, Matt 1-7, Pg.171

3 Believers Bible Commentary, William McDonald, Pg. 1216

4 John MacArthur Commentary Series, Matt 1-7, Pg.173

5 John MacArthur Commentary Series, Matt 1-7, Pg.174

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Test Brad Harbaugh
Capitol Commission 2600 Fairview Rd Suite 200 Raleigh, NC 27608
(919) 803-4646