Faithlife
Faithlife

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are Those Who Mourn

Matthew  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 30 views

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are Those Who Mourn

Notes & Transcripts

Review

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This is what we focused upon during our last time together. We saw that the chief characteristic of any true disciple of Christ, and any citizen of God’s kingdom, is humility. To be poor in spirit is to be spiritually bankrupt, and utterly dependent upon God - this is the essence of humility. Jesus reminds here us that our citizenship in his kingdom is totally owing to the grace of God, that there’s nothing in us that warrants God’s favor.
We surveyed the Scriptures to find that it’s often the poor, the despised, the sick, the weak and the ignoble who are the first to respond and follow Jesus. That they’re the first to respond to the gospel of the kingdom. And that it’s often the powerful, the wealthy, and the famous who stumble at the words of Christ. Like the rich ruler who asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” we are prone to turn away from following Christ because our riches in this life are too great, they become a stumbling block to us. We are often deceived to think that our present good circumstances (whether it be wealth, praise or health) warrant an attitude of self-sufficiency, so when Christ offers us salvation we think little or nothing of his offer, supposing that we aren’t in need of such a thing.
Our pride wells up and causes us to trust in our own resources and gifts, while Jesus calls us to a humble estate. That we would take a biblical assessment of ourselves and find ourselves lacking, to find that we depend upon our Creator for our every breath, that every good and perfect gift that we posses comes down from our heavenly Father. While the world prescribes self-esteem to cure what ails us Jesus says, no, humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and you will inherit His kingdom - you will live forever in a heavenly city whose builder and maker is God.
While the world prescribes self-esteem to cure what ailes you Jesus says, no, humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and He will give you His kingdom.

Blessed are those who mourn

This week we’re going to continue looking at the rest of these beatitudes one at a time, so if you’ll read with me again verses 2-12,

2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

There are at least 122 references to all kinds of mourning throughout the Scriptures, most of which are found in the OT, which means the concept of mourning should be nothing new to Jesus’ disciples, but the question before us today is this, What type of mourning is spoken of here by Jesus? What is it that Jesus intends to teach us?
Comfort is not promised to all unconditionally
On the outset there is something we can be sure of, and it’s that this promise that those who mourn will be comforted is not universal. Scripture is manifestly clear that not all, without qualification, will be comforted, instead the Scriptures teach us that many will be justly punished in Hell for their sin and rebellion against God, that they will not be comforted, and that “the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.” That in Hell their will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth, that there will be no rest for the wicked.
So first and foremost the promise of comfort to those who mourn is for those who are poor in spirit, those who humble themselves before almighty God, who turn from their sin, and who are united to Christ by faith. It is not for those who remain alienated from God. These promises are for the citizens of God’s kingdom.
Those alienated from God turn and trust in Christ
So if you are here today and stand alienated from God, I plead with you to repent, to turn from your sin, and to turn to Jesus. He will clothe you in his righteousness and present you justified before his heavenly Father. And you will have all the blessings of this text, you will be made a child of God, adopted and redeemed. Jesus’ atoning sacrifice absorbed the wrath of God against sinners for those who trust in his righteousness.
Blessed are those who mourn over their sin
Blessed are those who mourn over their sin for they shall be comforted. I think this is the primary thrust of the text here before us today. Those who are poor in spirit, those who are knowingly destitute of anything that might merit their salvation are those who mourn over their sin. They are grieved by their sin, because their sin grieves God. They understand that their sin is utterly destructive to not only to their earthly relationships but that sin is ultimately an offense against God, in fact, it’s a despising of God.
Sin is a despising of God and his law
When David struck down Uriah with the sword of the Ammonites and committed adultery with Uriah’s wife the prophet Nathan exclaimed, “Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight?” Our sin is a despising, or a deep loathing of God’s word and ultimately, by extension, a despising of God himself. It is for this reason that a true son or daughter of God is genuinely grieved by their sinful actions.
Godly versus ungodly grief
However, there is a mourning over sin that brings no comfort. Many weep over their sin yet are never comforted. Judas grieved over his betrayal of Jesus but it wasn’t a grief that produced repentance. You see, godly grief produces repentance. Paul says this when he writes to the church in Corinth in ,

10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

We grieve over sin because it grieves God.
We often see examples of ungodly grief in ourselves and others. It’s all too common that when we’ve been caught in wrongdoing that we are quick to say “sorry”, but so often our apology is a shallow one, a sorrow that grieves only over the consequences of our sin rather than a genuine grief that causes us to turn from our sin.
Attrition & Contrition
In theological terms we call repentance that’s motivated simply by the fear of punishment attrition. Whereas contrition is a real repentance that “is generated by a profound sorrow from the soul in which we are heartily sorry for our sins.” (R.C Sproul, Matthew p.81)
says,

But this is the one to whom I will look:

he who is humble and contrite in spirit

and trembles at my word.

says,

15  For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,

who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:

“I dwell in the high and holy place,

and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,

to revive the spirit of the lowly,

and to revive the heart of the contrite.

And reads like this,
We grieve over sin because it grieves God.

16  For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;

you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.

17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;

a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

We grieve over sin because it grieves God.
A child of God is mournful over his sin, because it grieves God, and a child of God is comforted because he has an advocate, who is Christ, who, as the writer of Hebrews puts it, “is able to save to the uttermost, those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” This is the comfort we are promised. Those who mourn over their sin are promised forgiveness, and it’s by his forgiveness that we find lasting and permanent comfort. John, in one of his letters writes,

5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Jesus our great Consolation
Now there are
Jesus our great Consolation
You see this is why Jesus is our great consolation - our great comfort. He is the one who is making all things new, he is the one who will have vengence against the unrighteous, he is the one who will one day set all things right, he will bring justice on the earth and comfort to our mourning.
We not only know that there is a future, or eschatological, reality that God will one day wipe away every tear from our eyes, but that very reality brings us comfort, even now, in our tribulations. While we mourn when we lose a loved one we are comforted by the fact that a day of resurrection is coming for those who where united to Christ in faith. We aren’t left mourning unto despair, but rather a mourning unto hope of eternal life where every tear will be wiped away.
We mourn this life because of the

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We find great comfort in the forgiveness of our sins. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Jesus our great Consolation
Jesus our great Consolation
Jesus our great Consolation
It’s also important that we’re reminded of the origin of this comfort. Where does this come from? We must remember that this comfort is found in a person. This comfort is found in Jesus, the sinless lamb of God. In Luke’s gospel we read this,
You see this is why Jesus is our great consolation - our great comfort. He is the one who is making all things new, he is the one who will have vengence against the unrighteous, he is the one who will one day set all things right, he will bring justice on the earth and comfort to our mourning.
We not only know that there is a future, or eschatological, reality that God will one day wipe away every tear from our eyes, but that very reality brings us comfort, even now, in our tribulations. While we mourn when we lose a loved one we are comforted by the fact that a day of resurrection is coming for those who where united to Christ in faith. We aren’t left mourning unto despair, but rather a mourning unto hope of eternal life where every tear will be wiped away.

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

In many Bible translations you’ll notice that the word consolation is capitalized. It’s capitalized because this is one of the names of Christ. This man Simeon was waiting for the Consolation of Israel, he was waiting for the person who would bring final and lasting comfort to Israel, and, of course, we know that great consolation is the man Jesus.
And when Mary and Joseph brought the child Jesus into the temple Simeon “took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

29  “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,

according to your word;

30  for my eyes have seen your salvation

31  that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

32  a light for revelation to the Gentiles,

and for glory to your people Israel.”

Jesus is our great comfort
Jesus, who is our salvation, is himself our great comfort. He is the rock on which our salvation rests, and the source of our comfort. He is our consolation.
You see this is why Jesus is our great consolation - our great comfort. He is the one who is making all things new, he is the one who will have vengence against the unrighteous, he is the one who will one day set all things right, he will bring justice on the earth and comfort to our mourning.

4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Comfort in the midst of pain
Moreover, we are even encouraged to mourn
Comfort in the midst of pain
This mourning speaks not only of our contrite posture before God but also of the mouring we endure in this due to the evils of sin.
Now I believe this mourning speaks not only of the believer’s contrite heart before God but also of the mourning we endure in this life due to the evils of sin. There are natural evils that befall us such as hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, famines and sickness. These evils destroy our livelihoods, they cause millions to go hungry, they destroy our homes, they afflict our bodies with pain and they take our loved ones from us in death. We can also be afflicted by loneliness, disappointment, and suffering, all of which often causes us to mourn over our condition.
It’s important to notice that this text does not promise that we will be kept from such evils and such afflictions. It does not say that we will escape them in this life, but it does promise that we will be comforted in this life, and eventually fully and finally in the next. It does not promise that we will not mourn, on the contrary, it assume that we will mourn, but it promises that the godly will be comforted.
When Paul writes to the church in Thessalonica regarding those who have died he says,

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

When we lo
When we mourn as Christians we grieve differently than those who are alienated from God. We don’t grieve as those who do not have hope, no, we grieve with hope, hope of the resurrection of the dead, hope that our God is in control, hope that all things are working for our good, hope that these light and momentary afflictions are preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond comparison. That our brothers and sisters in the Lord who have died will be raised to life with us on the last day.
The purpose of mourning
But let us remember to weep, let us remember to grieve when it is fitting. The Scriptures describe our Lord as “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” and when Jesus’ friend Lazarus died the text of Scripture says that, “Jesus wept.”
And hear what immediately follows, “So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”” Why do we grieve? We grieve because we love. And when we lose what we love we mourn, and it is fitting that we mourn for what we have lost. And God has given us the ability to mourn, to release our grief through weeping. The process of mourning should ultimately be a relief to those who are in pain, and when we weep we must remember that weeping may last for a while, but that eventually joy comes in the morning. This is precisely what says,

Weeping may tarry for the night,

but joy comes with the morning.

What does this mean, that joy comes in the morning? It means that there will be an end to our mourning, and that joy will eventually return to us - we will be comforted. continues by saying,

11  You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;

you have loosed my sackcloth

and clothed me with gladness,

12  that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.

O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

Evil mourning
But let us also know that
And while there are healthy forms of mourning there are also some that are not. The Scriptures speak of certain unbiblical forms of mourning. For some an ungodly grief will mean that we refuse to let someone go, we refuse to let them go because of our own selfishness. Our grief becomes about us, a sort of false humility. For others an ungodly grief may be a grief that punishes oneself in an act to atone for their own sin, this is a form of self-righteousness and is an unbiblical form of mourning.
When we lo
He is the one who is making all things new, he is the one who will bring justice on the earth and bring comfort to our mourning.
David’s unbiblical mourning
He is the one who is making all things new, he is the one who will bring justice on the earth and bring comfort to our mourning.
I think the clearest example of these is found in . David, king of Israel, is facing an uprising led by his own son Absalom, and after much strife David’s servants finally put down the insurgency, and it’s at this point we pickup the story in verse 31,
We not only know that there is a future, or eschatological, reality that God will one day wipe away every tear from our eyes, but that very reality brings us comfort, even now, in our tribulations. While we mourn when we lose a loved one we are comforted by the fact that a day of resurrection is coming for those who where united to Christ in faith. We aren’t left mourning unto despair, but rather a mourning unto hope of eternal life where every tear will be wiped away.
For other
For some an ungodly grief can cause us to refuse to let someone go, we refuse to let them go because of our own selfishness. Our grief
All authority in heaven and on earth

31 And behold, the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, “Good news for my lord the king! For the LORD has delivered you this day from the hand of all who rose up against you.” 32 The king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up against you for evil be like that young man.” 33  And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”

Joab Rebukes David

19 It was told Joab, “Behold, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” 2 So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people, for the people heard that day, “The king is grieving for his son.” 3 And the people stole into the city that day as people steal in who are ashamed when they flee in battle. 4 The king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!” 5 Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “You have today covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who have this day saved your life and the lives of your sons and your daughters and the lives of your wives and your concubines, 6 because you love those who hate you and hate those who love you. For you have made it clear today that commanders and servants are nothing to you, for today I know that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased. 7 Now therefore arise, go out and speak kindly to your servants, for I swear by the LORD, if you do not go, not a man will stay with you this night, and this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now.”

All authority in heaven and on earth
The temptation to have the kingdoms of this earth given to him if he were to bow down and worship Satan versus after his accomplished work on the cross he’s given all authority in heaven and on earth.
To better understand what’s happening here it would be fitting for us to see why it is that Absalom had risen against his father, David. If you’ll remember we read earlier from when the prophet Nathan exclaimed, “Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight?” The context of that statement was when David had just struck down Uriah with the sword of the Ammonites and committed adultery with Uriah’s wife. The prophet Nathan was rebuking him for his unrepentant behavior.
Now if you remember the story David would grieve, repent and be forgiven by God but no without temporal consequences which are recorded in verse 10-11,
Matthew’s gospel - 5 teaching blocks

10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house.

Let not our mourning be an occasion for pride or self-atonement
So when Absalom rose up against his father, David, it was a direct consequence of David’s earlier sin against Uriah and Uriah’s wife, and ultimately against God. It’s likely the reason why David is overcome with such grief that would even cause him to forsake the people who came to his defense during the insurgency. While he certainly lost his son which is a rightly a grievous circumstance, David forsakes his own servants in the process. It’s almost as if David in his grief seeks to make atonement for his prior sins by his grand display of mourning. So let not our mourning be an occasion for pride or an occasion for self-atonement.
Those who mourn will be comforted
The sermon on the mount begins by telling us the blessedness of who we are as Christians.
Instead let us rightfully grieve over our sin and be comforted that as we confess our sin, that he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Let us mourn rightly over the circumstances of this evil world, all the while remembering that Jesus is our great consolation both in salvation and in a future day of restoration. That one day "God will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes.” ()

Prayer

Heavenly Father, oh how grateful we are that you are our comforter. Thank you for your Son, who is the Consolation of Isreal and to all of those who call upon your name. Thank you for your salvation, thank you for the forgiveness of our sin. We take great comfort that we are peace with you through your Son.
Lord, I pray that you would give us the strength to endure the grief of this world, that you would comfort us when we mourn the loss of friends and family. Help to set our minds on the hope of our resurrection - the redemption of our bodies. Let us not despair unto hopelessness, but to grieve with hope that you are in control, that you are altogether good and altogether wise in your purposes. Strengthen us in our weakness and comfort us in our losses, in our disappointments and in our sufferings. We ask theses things in your Son’s most precious name.
Amen.
When David struck down Uriah with the sword of the Ammonites and committed adultery with Uriah’s wife the prophet Nathan exclaimed, “Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight?” Our sin is a despising, or a deep loathing of God’s word and ultimately, by extension, a despising of God himself. It is for this reason that a true son or daughter of God is genuinely grieved by their sinful actions.
The beatitudes tell us that being is the foundation for doing.
These are the descriptions of God’s people.
Jesus is promising the fulfillment of his kingdom
Hunger and thirst for righteousness
In the new birth we begin to have to tastes new ambitions, we begin to hunger and thirst for righteousness. No longer are we satisfied with the things of this world but now we find only satisfaction in Christ, we delight in the law of the Lord.
Merciful
We learn to be merciful as we experience God’s great mercy toward us.
Pure in heart
When we begin live as Christ we, by faith, begin to see God. His beauty is revealed to us as we’re conformed to the image of His Son.
Peace
In our conversion we experience peace with God and so we being to desire that others would also experience that same peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We become proclaimers of this peace, not some pagan world peace as idealized by the world but a real, and lasting peace, first with God and second by extension peace with our neighbor. You can’t have peace with one another without first peace with God. Such a notion is a fantasy and even downright evil.
Do you remember when we read from Luke chapter 2 when a multitude of angels appear to shepherds at night and say, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”? Jesus is the great peacemaker, he’s the one who’s being announced, and with him comes a way for mankind to have peace with God. And as believers we become ambassadors for Christ, delivering his message of peace.
Reviled and persecuted on my account
And paradoxically we’re persecuted for our message of peace. We’re reviled for our allegiance to Christ, and just as Jesus would say, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.” While this message of peace being peace to those who embrace Christ by faith it divides whole households as many in the world revile the message.
Rejoice and be glad
Do not revile them in return, but instead rejoice and be glad, because remember you will inherit the kingdom of heaven
RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →