The Meek Man Knows
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.(Matthew 11:29)
Rest is not something we do; it is what comes to us when we cease to do. Jesus calls us to His rest, and meekness is His method. The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided the esteem of the world is not worth the effort. He develops toward himself a kindly sense of humor and learns to say, “Oh, so you have been overlooked? And now you feel hurt because the world is saying about you the very things you have been saying about yourself? Only yesterday you were telling God you were nothing, a mere worm of dust. Where is your consistency? Come on, humble yourself, and cease to care what men think.”
The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson; but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God has declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels. In himself, nothing; in God everything- that is his motto. He knows the world will never see him as God sees him, and he has stopped caring. He will be patient to wait for the day when everything will get its own price tag, and real worth will come into its own. “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”(Matthew 13:43) He is willing to wait for that day. In the meantime he will have attained a place of soul rest. As he walks on in meekness he will be happy to let God defend him. The old struggle to defend himself is over. He has found the peace which meekness brings.
The value of everything is determined by the purchaser rather than the seller. No matter how much we may price something, unless someone is willing to pay that value, the item is not worth the price we set. It is as the old saying goes, “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” Our self worth especially as Christians is determined by God for it was He who purchased us and thereby setting a value upon us.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have [received as a gift] from God, and that you are not your own [property]? You were bought with a price [you were actually purchased with the precious blood of Jesus and made His own]. So then, honor and glorify God with your body.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Once you see that God has determined your value, you cease to allow your value to be set by others. Humans set little value on other humans, especially if that other human is not being, responding, acting or meeting some expected need. It is sad that we as Christians often let the world set our value when all the time God our Creator has set such a high value on us that He gave up His Son for us. When we think about the value placed on us by others perhaps we ought to ask if those who we are looking to for our value loves us enough to give up their lives for us. Christ did and does!
Most of us unfortunately set little value on ourselves. This value I’m speaking of is not some root of pride, it is not whether we believe we are the best looking or the most intelligent or even the most important person in the room. Tons of effort and piles of money go into the wasted effort of looking impressive to a world that in the end really doesn’t care. We all have observed that the influential people of today are the insignificant people of tomorrow that have been replaced by someone else. Today’s hero is often tomorrow’s zero. Sometimes we wear uncomfortable clothes and try to force our bodies to look a certain way so that we can feel valued by others. Sometimes we do things that are in truth distasteful to us so that we can fit in to the world around us. All the time there is a God who knows everything about us including all that which we hide from others and bury so deep within us that it is often even hid from us. This very same God has chosen us not to be His servants but His children. When He finds us on the rubbish heap, cast aside by the world and our former owner, Satan, He purchases us with an extremely high cost, the blood of Christ Jesus.
16 You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed and placed and purposefully planted you, so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name [as My representative] He may give to you.
My challenge to us today is that we enter the rest of God. This promised and blessed rest is for everyone who will cease doing, striving, working, and laboring to make the self more valuable in the eyes of the world and other humans. Humans do not know the value of others. Consider, as you are being subjected to the value system of the world, the value that humans placed upon Christ. Christ, the beloved and only begotten Son of God was sold for thirty pieces of silver. Not much of a price for His life. The Creator of the universe and all things that have been created including the very humans who set His value was sold for a few coins. We must understand that if the world placed such little value on the Son of God, we ought not be surprised when they place such little value on us.
According to what I could find, the value of the thirty pieces of silver was worth between $90 and $450 in today currency. We don’t know which coins were used but there is a reference in the Old Testament book of Exodus that sets the value of a slave at 30 shekels. It is in keeping with the scriptures then that Christ value was set as the value of a slave. When we consider the disparity between a slave and Christ the Son of God we can see how that the value often set on us by the world is far less than that which is set on us by God.
Then one of the twelve [disciples], who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand Jesus over to you?” And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver.
It is said often that “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. So today if you are feeling worthless, perhaps someone has made you feel that way, maybe as you look at yourself in the mirror of life, you too see little value, give yourself fully to God. He loves and values you so much that He gave His Son in exchange for you.
In my own personal life, I have never been the star, the best looking, the most popular or the most sought after. As a matter of fact the very opposite. As Gideon would describe himself, I am the least of the least of the least and yet I have discovered that God determines my worth and value and once you discover that you are liberated. No longer do you live your life to impress others, instead you live your life to please God and He is less demanding than most of those around us. The rest of God is the cease of work. Genesis says that when God finished creation, He rested for He ceased from His labor. When we place ourselves completely in the hands of God and allow Him full control of our lives, then we rest, trusting Him that He will place us in the place of blessing; He will make us what He designs us to be, and He will provide for us all we need. Why can we rest? Because we know we have been accepted by God.
Blessed and worthy of praise be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ, just as [in His love] He chose us in Christ [actually selected us for Himself as His own] before the foundation of the world, so that we would be holy [that is, consecrated, set apart for Him, purpose-driven] and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined and lovingly planned for us to be adopted to Himself as [His own] children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the kind intention and good pleasure of His will— to the praise of His glorious grace and favor, which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved [His Son, Jesus Christ]. In Him we have redemption [that is, our deliverance and salvation] through His blood, [which paid the penalty for our sin and resulted in] the forgiveness and complete pardon of our sin, in accordance with the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and understanding [with practical insight] He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, with regard to the fulfillment of the times [that is, the end of history, the climax of the ages]—to bring all things together in Christ, [both] things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have received an inheritance [a destiny—we were claimed by God as His own], having been predestined (chosen, appointed beforehand) according to the purpose of Him who works everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him as our Lord and Savior] would exist to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, when you heard the word of truth, the good news of your salvation, and [as a result] believed in Him, were stamped with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit [the One promised by Christ] as owned and protected [by God]. The Spirit is the guarantee [the first installment, the pledge, a foretaste] of our inheritance until the redemption of God’s own [purchased] possession [His believers], to the praise of His glory.
Dr. John Thompson