Before we start this next verse it’s important to remember where we left off. What Jesus is saying in the Beatitudes is shocking, countercultural, counterintuitive, and different than what any other teacher or philosopher was saying. His words stand in opposition to what the world is trying to say. Jesus is saying this is how life really works. This is the good life. If we want to live the best life we can, then we must follow what Jesus says.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4
We must read this verse in context with what was said in the previous verse. Jesus isn’t talking about mourning over the loss of a loved one. Although He certainly does that; Jesus comforts Isaiah 40:1 and binds up the brokenhearted Isaiah 61:1. However this is not what Jesus is speaking to in this passage. He is speaking of the mourning of repentance.
In Matthew 5:3, the verse prior, Jesus says Blessed are the Poor in Spirit. In other words, blessed are the spiritually bankrupt, blessed are the ones that can no longer carry on under the weight of their sin. In Matthew 5:4 Jesus is continuing this same theme. First He says blessed are those who recognize their sinfulness and need of a savior. Now He adds blessed are those who mourn for their sin, for they will be comforted.
Simply put, Jesus is saying when you come to the end of your rope and recognize that you are a sinful person in desperate need of a savior and grace. It is at this point, when you mourn the fact you are lost and hopeless, God will comfort you. Jesus is saying that in your brokenness of your sin God is with you. It is in that brokenness you that you will find hope, healing, and experience the good life, life to the fullest.
Jesus is calling us to repent from the sin that first made us poor in spirit and spiritually bankrupt. This goes against our natural tendency to bury our mistakes and hide our sins. But Jesus isn’t concerned with what is comfortable for us. He’s showing us the only way to the full life.
It’s in those dark moments of our own brokenness that God draws close to us. Psalm 34:18 says The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves those crushed in spirit. In other words, we are blessed when we mourn because God can then restore us to right relationship with Him. Jesus describes it with the word “comfort” which literally translates as to come alongside and be with someone. What a beautiful picture Jesus is painting. In our mourning God is right there beside picking us back up.
When we repent and mourn over our sin God will comfort us. Through that mourning we receive the best life because He is with us.
Read the previous article in the Series: Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit
Read the next article in the Series: Blessed are the Meek