“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)
Throughout all of Israel, Jesus had become widely known for His teachings and miracles, often drawing a crowd and speaking to hundreds or even thousands of people at a time. One of His most famous sermons was the Sermon on the Mount, which can be found in Matthew 5:1-11. This sermon presented the disciples with nine beatitudes, which have been previously defined as blessings in the first blog post of the beatitude series. Last week, we explored the very first beatitude; this week we will continue on and expound the second beatitude which claims “blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
A common theme within the beatitudes, as we will become quite familiar with throughout this series, are the juxtapositions that exist within each one. This is because Jesus is a juxtaposition, offering a free gift of grace to those who only deserve judgment and condemnation. One of the beauties of Christianity is that Jesus doesn’t play by the rules of the earth and doesn’t keep score the way we do. No matter how sinful we are and how far we have fallen from God, He will never stop pursuing, loving and accepting us.
This second beatitude references mourning, which is most commonly associated with things such as death, tragedy and loss. How could Jesus ever claim that these are blessings, when it feels as though they bring nothing but hopelessness and sadness? In fact, if you were to suggest to someone who was in the midst of mourning that they were actually blessed, you may not receive the most gracious response.
Though the death of a loved one is commonly the reason for mourning, this beatitude is referring to a mourning that lies even deeper within us. Jesus wants us to mourn our sin and the version of ourselves that was once ruled by the ways of the world. When we meet Jesus and receive the grace and forgiveness He offers, we will be revealed to just how sinful and broken we are and how desperately we need Him. This revelation will lead us to grieve and mourn our own sin, which will gently guide us into God’s accepting and comforting arms –despite our sin, He chooses to love us.
More than anything, Jesus craves to look each one of us in our eyes and acknowledge the sins that exists within our hearts. He wants to shed light on the areas of our lives that we wish to hide from so that He can put them to death, once and for all. It is then that we can mourn our sins and who we once were, while rejoicing in the new creation we are in Jesus. Blessed are those who experience this vulnerability because it will bring true the forgiveness and joy of Christ!
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