Bible Topics In The Christian Library
Matthew 5:4 

INTRODUCTION: “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” As with most of the beatitudes, this one seems to be contrary to popular opinion. It seems that we put off sorrow and weeping as far from us as possible. One of the largest industries in the country, the entertainment industry, is dedicated to keeping people from feeling sorrow. 

But Solomon said that there was a time for weeping, as well as laugh (Ecclesiastes 3:4). Why does Jesus say, “blessed are they that mourn”? 



A. The house of mourning, the bitterness of sorrow, is felt by all. 
1. All feel the heartbreak of losing a loved one. 
2. How many parents have felt the terrible sorrow for their children when bad things happen to them? 
B. While these things are true, is it that kind or mourning that will gain us comfort from the Lord? 
1. There is some mourning that the Bible says was useless because there was no comfort forthcoming. 
a. Isaiah 16:7 states that Moab will howl and mourn for its condition but it will do not good because God brought destruction as punishment for sin. 
2. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 - "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." 
a. Paul is saying that those who do not have a savior may weep, but have no hope. 
A. A look at the context of the verse will shed some light on its meaning. 
1. Verse three, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.", shows that it is a spiritual blessing. It was for the poor in spirit, not poor physically. 
2. This should show us that Jesus is talking about spiritual applications that will make someone a fit subject for the kingdom of God. 
B. This shows a spiritual progression. 
1. In verse three we see a person who realizes that they are unable to save themselves, that they are wretched and sinful. But this quality alone, without the other beatitudes will not lead one to Christ. 
2. But when we add the second beatitude we can see that the spiritual man will not only realize his spiritual poverty, but will also mourn over that sinful condition and desire to have God’s healing of his sin sickness. 
3. 2 Corinthians 7:10 shows a difference between the two attitudes. “Godly sorrow” is the attitude of the person who not only is sorry for his condition but lets that sorrow push him to turn to God. The “sorrow of the world” will torment the sinner but will not cause his to see the need to have God’s forgiveness. 
a. 2 Corinthians 7:10 - "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." 
b. Judas “sorrowed” over his sin. But he could not, perhaps because of pride, turn to God and submit his life in obedience.
1. Matthew 27:3-5 
4. Verse five and six continue this progression. The one who truly sorrow after their sins will submit their lives (meekness) to God’s control. Those who submit their lives to God will naturally have a yearning for searching and doing God’s will. 
A. It is a mourning of the heart that leads to a desire to change attitudes and actions. 
1. Psalms 34:18 - "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." 
2. Isaiah 57:15 - "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." 
3. Joel 2:13 - "And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil." 
4. James 4:8-9 "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. {9}Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness." 
5. This is not the hardhearted person who can feel no sorrow. God’s kind of person can be touched with a sense of sorrow. 
B. Some examples of men and women who mourned over their sinful condition. 
1. David - Psalm 32:1-6. 
2. Isaiah 
a. Isaiah 6:5 - "Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." 
3. Paul 
a. Romans 7:24-8:1 - "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? {25}I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." 
A. We have the great comfort of salvation - our sins are blotted out. 
1. Psalms 32:2 - "Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile." 
a. This is the same passage where David talks about weeping over his sins and receiving forgiveness. David was truly comfort in his grief. 
2. James 4:9-10 "Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. {10}Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." 
B. This is the great comfort that the Christian has on a daily basis. 
1. As we keep the attitude of mourning over our sins, God continues to comfort us with His forgiveness and presence in our lives. 
2. Philippians 4:6-7 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. {7}And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." 
3. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; {4}Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." 
4. Even the Greek word for comfort used in Matthew 5:4, parakaleo, is the same word Jesus uses to describe the Holy Spirit, who would come to be a comforter in the lives of the Apostles (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit works through His word in our lives as a comforter as well. 
CONCLUSION: Luke’s account of the beatitudes is especially illuminating concerning the depth of mourning that we should feel for our sins. "Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. (Luke 6:21)" When was the last time we wept over our sinful condition? 

Copyright 1999 by Grady Scott may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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