"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.Matthew 5:4(NASB)
Israel had been called to repent nationally by John the Baptist before being introduced, by him, to their promised Messiah – Light of the world. Jesus was that true Light. He was God’s anointed Son, Who was to proclaim His sovereign authority over heaven and earth, and His rightful place on the everlasting throne of David.
It appears that Christ’s ministry began at the very point that His faithful forerunner, John the Baptiser, was flung into prison by king Herod – after which he was brutally beheaded.
The kingdom of heaven was here, as John had announced, and Jesus began to proclaim His mission far and wide. He preached the gospel throughout the land of Israel and authenticated His ministry by performing many signs and wonders – all of which had been foretold by prophets of old – all or which confirmed Him as the true Light from God.
And so it was that early in His ministry, Jesus started to teach His followers the Gospel of the Kingdom. In His pre-cross ministry, the Kingdom of Heaven was preached primarily to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Jews who had trusted God were to repent of their sin and believe on their Messiah – if they were to enter God’s promised Kingdom.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit”, were the first words from Christ’s famous ‘sermon on the mount’, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Yes, the promised Kingdom was on offer, and those who acknowledged their helplessness before God’s omnipotence, and recognised that their spiritual supply comes from Him alone, would be the beneficiaries of Christ’s coming kingdom.
The second benediction from His epic sermon was: blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Ever since the fall of man in the garden of Eden, mourning was the sad legacy of every child of Adam. Deterioration, disease, death and decay ravaged the body and spoiled the beautiful world that God had created. The earth was cursed; relationships were marred, and pain and problem pursue the path of earth’s inhabitants.
However, the mourning in this verse is primarily connected with the inner spiritual grieving of a broken and contrite heart. It is the innermost garment of a sinner, separated from the God Who made them. It is an acknowledgment that man’s sin is the primary cause for the tragic condition of the this fallen world – and sin is the disease that has infected every human heart.
It is those that grieve over the sorrowful state of their sinful heart who will enjoy the comforting grace and consoling mercy of the Lord. It is those that weep for the wretched condition fallen man and of God’s beautiful earth, which was cursed because of man’s sin, who will receive the heavenly comfort offered by the Lord.
It is the penitent sinner, whose contrite heart laments over his own sins and those of an entire world, which is at enmity with God, and under His eternal curse, who will be granted solace from the Lord – for He has promised to wipe away every tear from their eye and to comfort each one of them in their pain.
May we who are already born from above remain in a state of godly humility and grieve over the hardness of sinners – who stand guilty before our gracious and merciful God, and may we ever seek to walk before Him in spirit and in truth.
Heavenly Father, we praise and thank You that You gave Your only begotten Son to be born into the human race. Thank You that Jesus was not only Israel’s Messiah-King… but that He is also our heavenly Saviour. We pray that many would turn from their wicked ways and sinful state, and mourn for the wretched condition of this fallen world. Unite the pleading prayers of Your penitent people, so that the world may come to know that Jesus is Lord – to the glory of God the Father – in Whose name we pray, AMEN