Shed tears #Blessed



Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Hashtag blessed is usually accompanied by pics containing smiling faces, or at least peaceful ones. And that is because we humans associate blessing with cheerfulness or serenity. But in our previous post (https://www.faith.org.za/post/who-is-blessed) we saw that Jesus’ definitions are quite…radical and unexpected.


It is no different with the second #blessed in the Sermon on the Mount:

Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”


No laughing!

What it doesn’t mean is that those who are morose or moody are more blessed than those who are not. Christians are never told to always be serious, never laughing. Jesus himself is described in Hebrews 1:9 as “anointed…with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” So an even more joyous fellow than His followers.


But the opposite view is equally unbiblical. Christians are never told to be always laughing, never sad. In fact, Scripture seems to suggest that spiritual maturity is impossible without sorrow. Isaiah 53:3 describing Jesus says “He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Sorrow was well-known by Jesus, and it was (and is) experienced by His followers as well.


So who died?

“Mourning” means sadness over someone dying. So, who died?

Remember the context. This is Jesus’s intro to His famous sermon. He is laying down who is invited to follow Him. And what qualifier preceded this verse? Blessed are the poor in spirit.


We cannot enthusiastically accept our spiritual inadequacy and admit our grave dependence on the Kingdom of Heaven, without taking a good, hard look in the spiritual mirror. And upon seeing the extent of our decomposition caused by the worms of our sin as well as our failure to stop it, we realise who died: We did.


Ready, set, cry!

Hopefully, the sight drives us to our knees, weeping. We have hurt the heart of our loving Father, we are prone to it. Over and over. It’s our default and it’s disgusting.


And what’s worse is that our sins rarely affect only us. Usually, the ugliness spills over into the hurt and hindrance of others. Sin has consequences; we do not do it in a void. It affects those around us. Again, hopefully, driving us even further down. We are now prostrate, lamenting.


With our eyes now fully open we can clearly see the grotesque effect sin has on the whole world, all of us contributing to it. This place is the opposite of paradise; it’s a graveyard.


Shoulder to cry on.

This type of regret, such as mourning, is the beautiful seed of the flower called Repentance. It drives us to want change, which is good. But as we said at first, we quickly realise how short we fall, how poor in spirit we really are - and that is, spiritually speaking, exactly where Christ wants His followers to be.

We need Him. Not only to help us with the change, setting at our disposal all the useful and necessary things contained in the Kingdom of Heaven, but we also need Him to comfort us.


Jesus is not only a shoulder to cry on, He is THE shoulder to cry on. “Surely He has borne our grief and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4). He knows how we feel and that we need comfort while mourning the inescapable death that clings to our world and our attempts at Life.


So He promises to do so in Matthew 5:4, to comfort those who mourn. But Revelation takes the comfort even further and promises that one day we shall mourn no more. “…God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17) Hashtag blessed!