Success and the Meek
One of the best ways to clarify our understanding of any character trait is to examine how it was revealed in the ministry of Jesus. Few people would refute the fact Jesus succeeded in accomplishing everything He came to do, yet He did it with meekness. On the cross He was beaten down, ridiculed and abandoned, but completely in control. He thirsted, but had enough strength to declare victory over sin with three simple words: “It is finished.”
It is worth noting, while Jesus’ main goal was not to be famous, He was wildly successful as a celebrity. People followed Him everywhere and it was not uncommon to find Him trying to pull away from the crowds for a personal time of prayer or a teaching session with His disciples. It is easy to understand why others wanted to be with Him when we consider His ability to heal and connect truth to the human heart in a way that amazed even His enemies.
But He could have done more. I mean, Jesus could have used His power and position to acquire most anything He wanted. It would have been nothing for Him to crush the mighty Roman bureaucracy and ascend Caesar’s throne. He could have eliminated His foes and elevated His friends. Tradition tells us Mary later lived in a home on the outskirts of Ephesus where she was cared for by John. Jesus could have easily kicked Herod out of his palace and asked the disciples to fix the place up for His mother. He could have called it “Mary Manor.”
But He didn’t. He didn’t do any of this because His mission was fundamentally infused with meekness. He, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:6-8)