[Mt 5:4] Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Before we saw the first lesson, blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Today’s is the second one, blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. It says here, blessed are those who mourn. Who are the ones who mourn?
Unique Message It is very difficult to understand the message of what mourning really means, but it is important for us to know. In the world, there is no message given to us telling us to mourn. Instead of telling us to mourn, the world tells us to enjoy life. Everyone wants to be happy, instead of mourning. Everyone lives to be happy, no one lives to cry. But today Jesus is teaching us to mourn, to cry. So this is such a different teaching from the world.
What is Mourning? What does it mean to mourn? Does it mean to live a pessimistic life? Did Jesus mean to tell us to look at everything negatively, and pessimistically? To live in despair? That is not it. There is a deeper meaning when Jesus tells us to mourn. One of Jesus’ disciples was James.
[Jas 4:9] Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
A similar message is recorded here. So it says, change your laughter into mourning and to gloom. What is the gloom and worry here?
Public Concern The worry that Jesus teaches, and that the apostle is teaching, is public worry and public concern. So it is teaching us to look at the sin and evil of the world and be sad and worry about that. So Jesus is teaching us, don’t close your eyes when you look at the evil and sin and pleasures of the world. And don’t match yourself to those. Instead, cry for those sins, then you will be blessed.
Heart of Christ Jesus lived this kind of life. The Bible explains to us that Jesus was the little lamb carrying all the sin of the world. When your child sins, then as a parent, you are sad and you worry. This was the heart of Jesus Christ when he looked at the world. Jesus is telling us to have the heart of God, who looking at this evil and sinful corrupted world, is in such great pain. Remember this heart, and live with this heart. Jesus is saying, blessed are those who live with this kind of heart.
Patriot Longing for the Kingdom A true patriot, one who truly loves his own country, when he looks at the sin and evil of his country, he feels sad, he feels pain. Just like that, the one who truly longs for the Kingdom of God, and awaits for it and loves it, should look at this world and feel pain, must mourn for this world. Jesus is saying, look at this corrupted world and mourn.
Comfort from God As the people of God, when we mourn like this, the mourning will not just end at mourning. We will definitely receive comfort from God. Mourning could change into greater joyful happiness because of comfort from God. When we truly want to become the disciples and followers of Christ, then we should have this heart, the mourning heart.
Repenting Another way we could look at this mourning is, looking at my own sin inside of me, and beating my heart, repenting because of my sin, this is mourning.
13. “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14. “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Here a sinner, a tax collector, comes out. But in verses 9,10…
9. To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:
10. “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
two men went up to pray, the first one said, I was not like the tax collector, I prayed and fasted, and gave a tenth of what I got. The Pharisee prayed like this, but the tax collector prayed beating his heart saying, I am a sinner. Jesus said this tax collector went home as more justified. So the heart of this tax collector, beating his heart and saying, I am a sinner, this is the heart of mourning.
Humility and Mourning When we truly confess our sin and cry over it, and have the heart of repentance in front of God, then we will be able to get comforted by God. So this is the second blessing, those who mourn. This has a connection with the first blessing that we looked at last week. The first blessing says, blessed are the poor in spirit. We said that is humility, modesty. This tax collector, beating himself, said “I am a sinner, I am a sinner.” He said, God have mercy on me. This is the heart of mourning, and this is humility. When we have these two hearts, when we have humble hearts, then we can mourn for our sins, and confess our sins. Whoever humbles themselves will be exalted. So this is how the second blessing relates to the first one. This is the second mourning, the private mourning.
[Ps 51:17] The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
It is recorded here that God is the God who does not ignore a broken and contrite heart. So a contrite heart is a heart that is torn apart, that feels pain. When we go to God with this kind of heart, God will comfort us.
Heart of Confessing and Mourning Here the tax collector was a great sinner who took many people’s possessions. But how was this tax collector able to be more justified as a more righteous person than this Pharisee? The Pharisees were called the pious and devout people of that time. How was the tax collector, a sinner, able to be more justified? It is because he had this heart, confessing and mourning. We want to remember that when we go to God with this kind of heart, He will truly comfort us. When someone cries in front of God saying, please forgive all my sins, God will truly comfort that person.
Maintain the Mourning Heart Two kinds of mourning come out here. The first one is public mourning, the second is private and personal mourning. I wish you would all maintain these two hearts of mourning within you.