Those who mourn…
Who are these Jesus was talking about?
When I have questions, I first search scripture, letting the Word be the commentary on the Word.
Today I looked at the Amplified Version, which uses more English words to expand what the Aramaic and Greek actually said. Our language doesn’t capture the feelings the original did, so I’m thankful for the scholars who worked diligently to bring this resource to us.
Matthew 5:4 says,
“Blessed and enviably happy with a happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted! [Isa. 61:2.]”
See that reference at the end? Before we delve into who “those who mourn” are, let’s check out Isaiah 61:2.
“To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, the year of His favor, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, [Matt. 11:2-6; Luke 4:18, 19; 7:22.]”
You can read the entire passage here for context.
In Luke 4:18, Jesus reads these words from Isaiah and declares that He is the one who has come to do those things, and in Luke 7, we see Jesus doing those things.
Okay, but our original question… who are those who mourn?
Obviously, it’s those who have lost a loved one, right? I think that’s right, but I don’t think that’s all.
We can mourn the loss of a pet, a plant, or a dream. We mourn the loss of a friend whether by death or betrayal. We mourn a failed marriage and we mourn lost treasures.
And it’s hard. The more we loved what was lost, the more painful the mourning.
Jesus came to be comfort for those who have endured loss. He came to wrap up every parent whose child has died in a hug of comfort that only He can give.
He came to envelope every widow in an embrace she thought she would never feel again.
He came to hold the hand of the one who has lost everything as they walk through their new normal.
He came to comfort.
As the TV infomercials say,
BUT WAIT! There’s more!
I think this verse also applies to a chosen mourning, the mourning we choose to do over the sin in our lives.
Follow with me, here. When we sin, it separates us from God. It creates a rift in our relationship. It’s a loss.
We should mourn that! Sadly and far too often we don’t even notice the rift has begun. That’s the deceit of sin.
The good news is that even though this is a loss worthy of deep mourning, it is unlike all other losses we suffer in that we can acknowledge the sin that separated us from Him and turn from it. That confession and repentance instantly restores our relationship with our Creator and breathes new life into us.
Believer, whatever mourning you’re living with today, know that your Savior is there to comfort you. He won’t remove it, but He will sit with you in your grief and hold you as you weep. He’s always there and always willing.
If your mourning is your soul’s knowledge of the loss of that closeness with God, go to Him with confession and repentance and know He is faithful to forgive and restore.
And no matter what mourning you are living, when you realize His gift of presence and comfort and forgiveness and restoration, you can trust that you will be blessed and enviably happy with a happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.