by Richard Mansel, managing editor
“Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:5, NKJV).
The Beatitudes use a sharp blade to show the differences between the physical and the spiritual. Laying bare these differences allows us all to see how far apart they are. We must realize that Jesus’ sermon is a clarion call for sanctification (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Blessed or happy are they that mourn? The average person would find that insane. We need to understand that there are different ways to mourn
In John 6, the disciples were listening with physical ears when Jesus said:
“Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:53-54).
The disciples’ physical ears found this so appalling that they “walked with Him no more” (John 6:66).
When we become Christians, we enter Christ’s body (Acts 2:38; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 1:20-21). We walk with Christ daily, as spiritual beings (Ephesians 3:20-4:1). Our spirits connect with God and we see the world in a new way (Romans 12:1-2).
Physical mourning does bring benefits to our lives (Romans 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 7:10). However, that is not Jesus’ focus.
We need to see everything, in relation to God, with spiritual eyes and view sin as our mortal enemy. As members of the Lord’s spiritual household (Ephesians 2:19) and spiritual army (Ephesians 6:10-12), we rejoice over spiritual victories and mourn over spiritual defeats.
Accordingly, we see that Jesus is referring to those who mourn over sin. We become attuned to the pain and suffering of others and mourn when they are lost (Galatians 6:1). The spiritual pain of our brethren becomes ours and we fight for them.
We will be comforted because we know the possibilities and blessings of salvation. We know that there are larger issues involved. When people are disobedient to God, we understand why and we mourn for their decision (1 Peter 5:8; James 1:13-16).
We know that when we sin, we have an advocate, whose blood cleanses us from our sins (1 John 1:7; 1 John 2:1). Nothing can ever be more comforting than God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8-9).