In Matthew 5:5 Jesus says: “Happy are the gentle: for the earth will be their heritage.” What land will the gentlecinherit?
Those poor in spirit will inherit kingdom of heaven, but the gentle will inherit the earth. What Jesus intended to say through this?
Jesus talks about the poverty in spirit and not in body. If He had talked about the poverty in body, the promise to inherit the land would have fit us the best. But from the very beginning Jesus talks about the spiritual part: “…for the kingdom of heaven is theirs! … for they will be comforted! … for the earth will be their heritage! … for they will have their desire! … for they will have their will be given mercy! … for they will see God! … for they will be named sons of God! … for the kingdom of heaven is theirs! (Matthew 5:3-10).
How to inherit something in a country where you don’t have anything and were you are only a stranger and a traveler?
“My loved ones, I make this request with all my heart, that, as those for whom
this world is a strange country, you will keep yourselves from the desires of
the flesh which make war against the soul;” (1 Peter 2:11)
Therefore we are strangers and travellers on this earth, called to fight against our flesh desires and to look for righteousness and kingdom of God.
“But let your first care be for his kingdom and his righteousness; and all these
other things will be given to you in addition.” (Matthew 6:33)
The target of each Christian has to be the Kingdom of God and its values and not the heritage of earth in the way this is promoted by this world. In the Sermon on the Mount, heavenly values are putted into contrast with earthly values. A good example that would help us to understand this truth is Abraham.
“By faith Abraham did as God said when he was ordered to go out into a place
which was to be given to him as a heritage, and went out without knowledge of
where he was going. By faith he was a wanderer in the land of the agreement, as in a strange land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, who had a part with him in the same heritage: For he was looking for the strong town, whose builder and maker is God. And by faith Sarah herself had power to give birth, when she was very old, because she had faith in him who gave his word; So that from one man, who was near to death, came children in number as the stars in heaven, or as the sand by the seaside, which may not be numbered. All these came to their end in faith, not having had the heritage; but having seen it with delight far away, they gave witness that they were wanderers and not of the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are searching for a country for themselves. And truly if they had kept in mind the country from which they went out, they
would have had chances of turning back. But now their desire is for a better country, that is to say, for one in heaven; and so it is no shame to God to be named their God; for he has made ready a town for them.” (Hebrews 11:8-16)
” … for the earth will be their heritage“, but not this earth that is completely empty of anything that is good, but a new Heaven and a new Earth!
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; and in that day the heavens will
be rolled up with a great noise, and the substance of the earth will be changed
by violent heat, and the world and everything in it will be burned up. Seeing then that all these things are coming to such an end, what sort of persons is it right for you to be, in all holy behaviour and righteousness, Looking for and truly desiring the coming of the day of God, when the heavens will come to an end through fire, and the substance of the earth will be changed by the great heat? But having faith in his word, we are looking for a new heaven and a new earth, which will be the resting-place of righteousness.” (2 Peter 3:10-13)
Indeed, the gentle, those that recognising their poverty in spirit, mourned until they were comforted by God, received the power to get out from the competition of self-affirmation and because of this will inherit the earth, however not this one, but a new Earth and a new Heaven, where the righteousness will live.
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth
were gone; and there was no more sea. And I saw the holy town, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, like a bride made beautiful for her husband. And there came to my ears a great voice out of the high seat, saying, See, the Tent of God is with men, and he will make his living-place with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them, and be their God. And he will put an end to all their weeping; and there will be no more death, or sorrow, or crying, or pain; for the first things have come to an end. And he who is seated on the high seat said, See, I make all things new. And he
said, Put it in the book; for these words are certain and true. And he said to me, It is done. I am the First and the Last, the start and the end. I will freely give of the fountain of the water of life to him who is in need. He who overcomes will have these things for his heritage; and I will be his God, and he will be my son. But those who are full of fear and without faith, the unclean and takers of life, those who do the sins of the flesh, and those who make use of evil powers or who give worship to images, and all those who are false, will have their part in the sea of ever-burning fire which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:1-8)
My dear, what will you inherit?