Summary: What an amazing paradox! If it is not a paradox it is at least the opposite of what our culture tells us today. The paradox is that Jesus says that the man who mourns will be really happy. The world regards such a statement as utterly ridiculous. Who want
“Blessed Are The Repentant”
“Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.”
As we began examining the Beatitudes we noted that there is a definite order in the Beatitudes. Our Lord does not place them in their respective positions haphazardly or accidentally but in a logical spiritual sequence reflective of the way by which one becomes a part of the Kingdom of Heaven. As we saw in the last message being “poor in spirit” (Matt. 5:3) is important because it is the fundamental first step in becoming a Christian -because it is not until a person realizes their poverty that there is a sense of the need to be saved. Today we look at the second “blessed” – the second step to true happiness – repentance.
In each of the Beatitudes Jesus tells how the Kingdom of God reverses the obvious situation. Each statement makes us readjust our thinking. Jesus says "Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comfort-ed.” This beatitude tells us that comfort comes through sorrow. Luke’s account is even more forceful, “…Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep.” (Luke 6:25) What an amazing paradox! If it is not a paradox it is at least the opposite of what our culture tells us today.
The paradox is that Jesus says that the man who mourns will be really happy. The world regards such a statement as utterly ridiculous. Who wants to mourn anyway? In our self absorbed world we do everything we can to move in the opposite direction. The emphasis of our day is “live it up,” “grab all the gusto you can,” “laugh it off and move on.”
Last week we saw the need to recognize that we are spiritually bankrupt. But it is one thing to be spiritually poor and acknowledge it: it is another to grieve and mourn over it. It is the difference between realization and repentance, between awareness and brokenness. Realizing that one is “poor in spirit” is the intellectual side, the resulting “mourning” is the emotional side.
We want to examine three things in this message.
First, The Meaning Of Mourning
There are nine Greek words that can express grief, the word used here is the strongest and most severe of all, it is usually reserved for mourning the dead. It is also in the present tense, indicating continuous action and is lit. "the ones continually mourning (and they alone) are continually comforted."
• What Jesus is not talking about.
We all know people who do not seem content unless they are miserable. They look miserable, they act miserable and they seemed pleased when everyone around them is also miserable. They just seem to suck the life right out of any gathering. Maybe you experience someone like that in your family gatherings over the holidays. But that is not what Jesus is talking about. Christians ought to spread joy not despair.
• So what is Jesus talking about when He says that we should mourn?
Let me suggest three areas in which this beat-itude can be lived out.
Lamenting Life’s Losses.
What we are talking about is general sorrow - that which comes to all men due to death and disappointment. “Tears that flow for normal reasons encountered in life are therapeutic. They are provided by God for the healing of the soul. Tears are a way God gives us to relieve the pressure caused by the pain, the anxieties and the sufferings of life. …Often you hear someone, in an attempt to comfort a bereaved person, say something like, “Dear, don’t weep. Don’t cry. You know they are better off. You know they are in a better place. Now, now, don’t cry.” [Craig Conner. “Principles For Powerful Living: A Study of the Beatitudes.” (Panama City: Florida, Touch of Grace Ministries, 2007) p.23]
Besides being horribly hurtful it is also potent-ially harmful, because tears are a part of the process that God has given for allowing grief to run its course so that healing can begin.
One benefit of sorrow in life is that it is during those periods of dark loneliness, walking through the very shadow of death, that Christ can become more real, more present, more dear than at any time before. He and He alone is able to truly comfort us during those times of sorrow and mourning.
As real as the mourning over losses in life that is not the kind of mourning that Jesus is describing in this Beatitude. Beyond the arena of lamenting life’s losses there is also the whole matter of …
Weeping over a Lost World.
There is a sense in which the believer should mourn over the evil in this world. There certainly is much in this world to grieve over. There was a time (before two bitter and devastating World wars) when people were under the delusion that our world was getting better and better. But no one can honestly believe that now. Our world is not getting better and better. No amount of education or technological advances will make this world fundamentally a better place. You cannot count on the United Nations or any other organization to bring any substantive change.