No rights they might claim protect this community of strangers in the world. Nor do they claim any such rights, for they are the meek, who renounce all rights of their own for the sake of Jesus Christ.
When they are berated, they are quiet. When violence is done to them, they endure it. When they are cast out, they yield. They do not sue for their rights; they do not make a scene when injustice is done to them. They do not want rights of their own.... But Jesus says, they will inherit the earth. The earth belongs to those who are without rights and power. Those who now possess the earth with violence and injustice will lose it, and those who renounce it here, who were meek unto the cross, will rule over the new earth.
"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5
Questions to Ponder
What does it mean to say that disciples "renounce all rights of their own for the sake of Jesus Christ"?
Why would disciples "not want rights of their own"?
Should followers of Jesus be non-violent in their response to evil?
In what sense can it be said that: "The earth belongs to those who are without rights and power"?
O Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek;
you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear
to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed,
so that those from earth may strike terror no more. Psalm 10:17-18
Are there any rights that you would rather defend than "renounce...for the sake of Jesus Christ"? Explain.
Think of the way you do life and live in relationships. Would you call yourself meek? Why, or why not?
Is there a situation in your life now where you need the gift of meekness? If so, write about it. What might be different in that situation if you were truly meek? What do you need to do?
Pray for the powerful, the arrogant, those who clamor most for their own rights, that they might become truly meek and seek the good of others rather than their own good.
Prayer for Today
Lord Jesus, help me to renounce my own rights for your sake. Give me the gift of meekness and make me an "instrument of your peace."
40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.