|Dear Readers: As Dr. Graham is now quite elderly and in poor health, he is occasionally given to strange ideas, blunt language, and suggestions from his interns that may seem uncharacteristic. Please forgive him, as God undoubtedly has. —The Mooseclean’s Editors|
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Q: What did Jesus mean when He said the meek will “inherit the earth”? Am I supposed to be doing something to prepare? If so, what? — S.C.
A: First of all it’s important to realize you are not alone in your worry. As you probably well know, it was during His Sermon on the Mount that Jesus said: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).
This has caused no shortage of anxiety on the part of the meek, who are given to being rather squeamish in the first place. It throws at their feet a rather lofty goal, but with much key information omitted — specifically, who, how, and when? Does “meek” refer to the collective en masse, or a subset of duly appointed representatives? Are said individuals meeting in a lawyer’s office for a reading of the will, at a table engaged in some sort of collective bargaining agreement, or meeting with the current owners over a cup of coffee for a straight exchange of ownership papers? When is this to occur exactly? Will God be sending one of His angelic representatives by for a “chinwag” about the particulars, or are we to be searching the earth and skies for some kind of sign? Finally, what, God forbid, should happen if the time arrives and the current rulers of earth decide to renege on the agreement?
These sorts of questions, beyond just being characteristic wussy obsessive niggling on the part of the meek, represent a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of meekness, as well as the misapprehension that an earth will, someday, still exist to inherit.
“Meekness” usually conjures up images of Gandhi, or those negroes being dragged from diners during the sit-ins of the American Civil Rights demonstrations of the 1960s. Sadly, their quiet dignity in the face of testy businessmen just trying to free up some seats for paying customers during the lunchtime rush has nothing to do with meekness as Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, understood it.
And so long as we’re on the subject, let me just state unequivocally and for the record, Jesus wasn’t a negro. [Bill / Jim — Really? Do you really want to start this debate again?— Ed.] Anyone who purports otherwise obviously has never seen one of His portraits — white skin, blue eyes, blonde hair — a little long I might add, but as straight and true as His divinely-decreed heterosexuality.
Incidentally, I have some lovely portraits of the Savior for sale should you need one for your own home, or for a cherished friend or family member, or some hopelessly lost heathen speeding on the expressway to Hell. Send $19.95, plus $7.95 for shipping and handling c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Corporation, 101 Billy Graham Boulevard, Charlotte, N.C., 28202; call 1-(888) 2-GRAHAM, or visit my website for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Corporation at www.billygraham.biz.
Let me be absolutely clear about this: “meek” Jesus was no spineless, mincing sissy-boy weakling. Jesus never sat around on lunch counter stools, eating cold matzah ball soup and stale manna from heathen, [is that supposed to be heathen or heaven? — SD] and jabbering with the Philistines. He was out there, clearing the temple with His own two hands, throwing the vendors and money changers out on their asses [Guys — I realize that ass is in the Bible, but could we tone this down? — Ed.] [Further, “biblical” asses was only used in terms of the animal, not the body part. — SD]
If you know Greek, and I’m talking about the language here, [Don’t beg questions you’d rather not answer. — Ed.][Agreed. — SD] “meek” is from the Greek word praus, which describes a wild horse tamed for riding. I think it says “horse” anyway. It’s been some years since I’ve formally studied Greek, though I’m still quite fluent if you get my meaning [Guys — Please. — Ed.] [Seconded. — SD]
In the biblical sense then, Jesus was a bronco, who would buck you “ass-over-tea-kettle” if you rode Him the wrong way. [Bill — I know that you’ve said before that your grandmother always used this expression, and she was a very religious woman, but c’mon, I can practically hear the wallets and purses snapping shut. — Ed.]. Jesus had a bad “beattitude”, and was not above drawing a line in the sand and daring you to step over it. Even after they crucified Him, He threatened to come back and raise an army of the dead to destroy the earth. He will, so don’t invest too heavily in real estate near the San Andreas fault. That cesspool of sinners will be the first to fall.
In summation, the lesson to be learned today is thus:
- God owns everything on this earth, and could care less what your landlord or anyone else mistakenly believes (Psalm 24:1).
- Those who agree to play nice by Jesus (“be meek”) are like Children of God, but don’t call asking for money because it’s more of a spiritual gesture than a biologically determined legally-binding commitment (Galatians 3:27; Hebrews 5:9). You are, however, allowed squatters rights to any of the Lord’s many properties (Romans 8:17).
- Our Heavenly Father is paying the rent, heat, water and other utilities (Philippians 4:19), so feel free to spend what you make on wine and ho-hos [Just to clarify, this refers to the bakery treat made by Hostess Foods, correct? — Ed.][If it is the Hostess-type, it needs to be capitalized and a C or R next to it, to show that the name is Copy-righted or Registered. — SD]
- When the party’s over, everyone’s getting kicked out because the “inheritance” is spiritual (Acts 20:32); God’s children can put in a claim for an apartment in the Kingdom of Heaven (Ephesians 5:5), but only if they signed up for membership during the admissions period. All late-comers will be refused (cf. John 3:3-5; Colossians 1:13).
- Once you’ve received your room with a view up in the clouds (1 Peter 1:4), you’ll have a lovely balcony panorama of the chaos below as Jesus marches His Army of Darkness into your old neighbourhood, reducing buildings to cinder and people to toasted marshmallows (2 Peter 3:10).
My advice is to be patient. Underline the phrase “inherit the earth” in your Bible and record some of my inspiring words as notations in the margins. Keep smiling, and smile even wider, when a sinner treads upon your gentle spirit. Imagine Jesus — and just for the record, it’s pronounced JEE–zuss, not HEY–zoose — skewering that sinner’s pagan ass on a weenie stick and roasting it on the fires of Hell to a nice crispy, golden brown. [Jim?! WTH?!?!?!?!? — Ed.]
And remember — God loves you, and life’s greatest joy comes from knowing Him. Open your heart and life to Jesus Christ today. [Now see, this is good. Nice save. — Ed.]
|Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Corporation, 101 Billy Graham Boulevard, Charlotte, N.C., 28202; call 1-(888) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Corporation: www.billygraham.biz.|
|For complaints on factual and editorial matters, write to Dr. Graham’s Intern: Jimmy Swaggart, c/o Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, PO Box 262550, Baton Rouge, LA 70826|
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