The western world loves baby Jesus, so meek and mild. It feels warm and fuzzy to gaze on His cuteness and feel compassion for the heavenly King, laying in a trough for His first bed. We are filled with awe as we read how the stars spoke of Christ’s birth, guiding earthly kings to come worship one who hasn’t yet proven His worth. Would those same wise men have still come if Jesus had already turned over tables and said strong words like He’s the only way to the Father?

Jesus was not mild. His ministry was full of power demonstrations, jarring statements, culminating in the defeat of the curse through His violent death. Jesus, however, was meek. The definition of meekness is “power under control.” Meekness is not weakness. Christ said it best in John 5, that He only does what He sees His father doing. In John 14, Jesus reveals the highest priority in His heart, “…that the world may know that I loved My Father, …” Contrary to our modern tendency to feel powerful when we are in control, our Maker demonstrated the key to victory is in surrender.

Meekness won when He was in a rigged trial, subjected to torture and hateful jeers by the same people who just days before had received Him with praise. He didn’t defend Himself. He didn’t use His Creator powers to shut their mouths or stop their whips. Instead He took on their wrath and rejection so that we could know we are fully received by Him.

Meekness won when the King of Kings refused to wear any crown, except one made of thorns, so that instead we could be crowned with His righteousness. He never doubted who He was, but He also never insisted we acknowledge it. Instead He “did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage” (Philippians 2:6).

His triumphant resurrection was not mild as He won humanity’s identity back, reconciling us to the Father forever. Then, again in His meekness, He handed the keys to His Kingdom to us and said it’s ours.

As we approach the new decade, will we roll up our sleeves with a self-reliant resolve to do better and be better? Or, will we learn from our Savior to be meek and under control of our good Father’s desires. His desire is always for our good.

Ben Passmore