The Beatitudes – one of the most familiar portions in the Bible, eight precious teachings of Jesus that most Bible readers or church-goer can’t miss – they are mentioned in the book of Matthew Chapter 5. I remember memorizing these verses as a child without understanding the true treasure and beauty they carried. I always found the teachings quite controversial, as I saw it from the lens of what I had learned from people and things around me. Until recently, when I got the opportunity to study the Beatitudes.
The reason why so many of us do not understand these teachings is that Jesus is talking about an ‘up-side-down’ kingdom – a place that does not work on the principles of ‘happiness’ the world around us teaches. He teaches that we can remain blessed and happy always.
I want to share what I learned from one of my favorite Beatitudes – “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
The two keywords in this verse are ‘blessed’ and ‘mourn’. The Greek word used for ‘blessed’ is ‘Makarios’ which means ‘happy’ or ‘fortunate’. The word ‘mourn’ means to show or feel sorrow, regret about something or for the death of someone. So, how can someone be happy when mourning? The Amplified translation gives better clarity to this verse. It reads, “Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are those who mourn [over their sins and repent], for they will be comforted [when the burden of sin is lifted]. –Matthew 5:4 (AMP).
Mourn over your SINS
Mourning over sins simply means to repent.
Come on, let’s admit it… it’s easier to hear sermons on joy, love, blessings, promotions, and deliverance. That’s what our itchy ears want to hear. But the moment we hear the word- SIN, we either act as if we do not belong to that category of ‘sinful’ people or such a concept does not exist in today’s scenario.
By running exclusively after blessings and deliverance, often we tend to ignore the elementary teachings of Jesus. Jesus teaches that repentance brings blessings. Repentance is one of the fundamental requirements of God’s plan to man. John the Baptist was sent ahead of Jesus to prepare the way for Him. And his ministry was that of “baptism of repentance”. John’s message of repentance is the starting place of the Gospel. Jesus preached on repentance. The apostles preached on repentance. And we, in no way can ignore this basic and most important teaching of Jesus since this is the starting place for a genuine relationship with God.
A true mark of being a Christian is to be able to recognize sin.
A true mark of being a Christian is to be able to recognize sin. 1 John 1:8-9 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
We may do a million things or say a billion words, but every action is weighed by the One who looks into our hearts. Every action demands the attitude of heart which includes our intellect, emotions, and will. It is true that we fail often in our walk with God. If only we could stop hiding our sins and stop wearing a mask because God’s desire for us is to come before Him in repentance.
The safest and most secure place I have found is in His presence. It is a place where we can be vulnerable about each sinful struggle we face. It is the place where we can find grace and wisdom to overcome them. And this is what Jesus is implying here.
Throughout the Bible, we read about the acts of repentance by different people. And every time they did that, God’s mercy and grace covered these people. David says in Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (NKJV).
Repentance is not merely the start of the Christian life. It is the CHRISTIAN LIFE. – John Calvin
Why is this important?
Here’s how it usually works – when we hide in sin and don’t repent, we subconsciously carry the guilt of sin. When we don’t mourn, we pile up guilt after guilt. Guilt leads to shame, which is constantly used by the devil to remind us of our sins and makes us feel unworthy and ashamed. We fail to realize our identity in Christ. Insecurity creeps in. Gradually, we become ignorant and arrogant. And so, it is important for us to overcome this life of guilt, live victoriously and to position ourselves in a place of receiving His favor.
Those who understand this truth, learn the art of getting up from the place they have fallen and stand stronger and mightier than before.
Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God is in your midst, A Warrior who saves.
He will rejoice over you with joy; He will be quiet in His love [making no mention of your past sins], He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” (AMP)
The invitation for a blessed life is open for everyone and the freedom to run to Jesus at any time of our life on earth is open. Oh! How I wish this truth be engraved in our hearts so we may never forget, never give an opportunity for ourselves to feed on guilt and shame. May we make it a daily practice to enter the throne of grace boldly to obtain His mercy and favor.
O for the wonderful love He has promised
Promised for you and for me
Though we have sinned He has mercy and pardon
Pardon for you and for me
Come home, come home
Ye who are weary come home
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling, “O sinner come home”