Home Group Sheet for Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”

Posted: October 15, 2009 by Rick Hogaboam in Devotional, Discipleship/Sanctification, Kingdom of God, Matthew, Suffering

I know this is a bit choppy, but I made it for my personal use and it might not be reader-friendly. This is a condensed commentary on Matthew 5:4 for the homegroup I am leading right now. We are going through the Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”

–          This beatitude connects to the previous one in that “being poor in spirit” acknowledges one’s poverty and need for help. Important to note that the Sermon on the Mount doesn’t advocate “works righteousness”, nor is “law” for Jews only. It begins with our poverty and need of grace.

–          Being “poor in spirit” will manifest itself in mourning.

  • Our faith is a “crying one”:
    • “We need, then, to observe that the Christian life, according to Jesus, is not all joy and laughter. Some Christians seem to imagine that, especially if they are filled with the Spirit, they must wear a perpetual grin on their face and be continuously boisterous and bubbly. How unbiblical can one become? No. In Luke’s version of the Sermon Jesus added to this beatitude a solemn woe: ‘Woe to you that laugh now.’1 The truth is that there are such things as Christian tears, and too few of us ever weep them.”[1]

–          “I fear that we evangelical Christians, by making much of grace, sometimes thereby make light of sin. There is not enough sorrow for sin among us. We should experience more ‘godly grief’ of Christian penitence, like that sensitive and Christ-like eighteenth-century missionary to the American Indians David Brainerd, who wrote in his journal on 18 October 1740: ‘In my morning devotions my soul was exceedingly melted, and bitterly mourned over my exceeding sinfulness and vileness.’ Tears like this are the holy water which God is said to store in his bottle. Such mourners, who bewail their own sinfulness, will be comforted by the only comfort which can relieve their distress, namely the free forgiveness of God” (Stott, John).

What is Godly grief?

–          2 Corinthians 7:9 As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.
2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

Only mourning over sin?

–          “Mourning includes grief caused by both personal sin and loss and social evil and oppression. God will comfort now in part and fully in the future. That Christian mourning does not outweigh happiness as the more dominant characteristic of the Christian life remains clear from Matt 9:15.”[2]

Jesus is the consolation – comforter of His people. Wonderful Counselor who is able to minister healing to our mourning hearts!!!

–          Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; (2) to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn

  • Notice how this Messianic passage in Isaiah mirrors the Sermon on the Mount with relation to “poor” and “brokenhearted” that we have seen in the first 2 beatitudes.

Ah, brethren! you will never know how deep and ineffably precious are the consolations which Christ can give, unless you have learned despair of self, and have come helpless, hopeless, and yet confident, to that great Lord. Make your hearts empty, and He will fill them; recognise your desperate condition, and He will lift you up. The deeper down we go into the depths, the surer is the rebound and the higher the soaring to the zenith. It is they who have poverty of spirit, and mourning based upon it, and only they, who pass into the sweetest, sacredest, secretest recesses of Christ’s heart, and there find all-sufficient consolation.[3]

“they shall be comforted” – notice the passive construction (divine passive), it is God who does the healing.

–          Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Reflection Questions:

–          How often do you mourn over: indwelling sin? Your sin towards others? Others sins towards you? Circumstances? What most causes you to most mourn?

–          How is Christian mourning different from worldly mourning?  (we have hope)

–          Describe some times when God has consoled you in the midst of mourning.

–          How can you use this glorious truth in ministering towards those who mourn (Christian and non-Christian)?


1 Lk. 6:25.

[1]Stott, John R. W. ; Stott, John R. W.: The Message of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) : Christian Counter-Culture. Leicester [Leicestershire; Downers Grove, Ill., U.S.A. : Inter-varsity Press, 1985], c1978 (The Bible Speaks Today), S. 41

[2]Blomberg, Craig: Matthew. electronic ed. Nashville : Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1992 (Logos Library System; The New American Commentary 22), S. 99

[3]Alexander Maclaren: Expositions of the Holy Scripture (EZEKIEL, DANIEL, AND THE MINOR PROPHETS, MATTHEW Chapters 1-8). Joseph Kreifels, S. 244

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Comments
  1. mimi says:

    I appreciate all your studies my lord. 🙂

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