Summary: We are to be grieved by the things that grieves the Lord, to mourn over sin and the effects of sin in our lives and in our world today.
The Beatitudes describe what every Christian ought to be.
• Jesus says these are those who are truly blessed.
• We are to manifest ALL these traits.
• And by the grace of God we can, since these aren’t natural traits that can be cultivated through human efforts.
• The Lord wants us to live such a life, distinct from the world.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
• Those who understand that they are spiritual poor before God are blessed.
• They know they have nothing to offer, nothing to boast about, and nothing with which to buy the favour of heaven.
• Those who are poor can do great things for God. We saw that in Isaiah, in Peter, and in Paul.
• Remember, we are at all times, living under His grace. At all times!
• The one who understands this will LEAN ON HIM.
Memorise this. Today we come to the second beatitude:
Matt 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Again this sounds odd at first glance, why would mourning be good.
• The one thing the world shuns away from is sorrow. Everyone wants to be happy.
• It’s even more odd if you rephrase it and say, “Happy are those who mourn.”
If we look at its context, it is clear that Jesus wasn’t referring simply to an emotion.
• The Beatitudes speaks about a spiritual condition – the Christian attitude to life.
• There is a particular approach to life – the way we view ourselves, our life, our world – that makes it “Christian” or godly.
• So here Jesus refers to mourning over sin and evil, over the state of affairs in a fallen world.
The best way to understand this is to look at Jesus – the two times He wept openly.
(1) He wept at the grave of Lazarus (John 11:35).
• Not for Lazarus. He knew that in a moment Lazarus would be raised to life.
• Jesus wept when He saw the mourners. He was moved by their sorrow and grief.
• Jesus has great compassion and is moved by the plight of man.
• On a deeper level, Jesus saw the cause of this. Death enters human experience because of sin. Human pain and sorrow is the result of sin.
• He saw the ugliness of sin and the pain it has caused.
(2) He wept over Jerusalem as He looked at the city just before His end.
Luke 19:41-44 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace-but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you."
Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem because they rejected the chance to experience His peace.
• They have chosen to harden their heart, and therefore will remain in their lost condition. And as a result of their rejection, they faced impending judgment.
• When He was carrying the cross on His final journey, He tells those women who were mourning and wailing for Him: “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.” (Luke 23:28)
• Weep because judgement is coming. Mourn for your sin.
(1) We mourn over sin, and (2) the effects of sin.
• We mourn because we know what sin means to God – it grieves Him and it must grieve us, those who claim to love Him.
• The world will not mourn for sin. They will live with it.
Look at a true mourner in action - Luke 7:36-38.
• A sinner, well-known in the town for her sinful life, went uninvited to see Jesus.
• She stood behind Jesus, weeping and wiping His feet with her tears.
• Not only did Jesus not bar her attendance, the physical contact between Jesus and the sinner was considered gravely wrong.
Listen to what Jesus said to the host – Luke 7:44-47
• Verse 46: Usually they put oil on the head but she did that only to Jesus’ feet, apparently feeling unworthy to even anoint Jesus’ head.
• She was the only person in the Bible who cried for her sins before Jesus.
• She is one who is poor in spirit, and one who mourns.
• Poor in spirit because she knows how unworthy and unrighteousness she is, and she mourns for her sin.