4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
“The teachings of Jesus are all out of proportion when compared to our natural way of looking at things, and they come to us initially with astonishing discomfort. We gradually have to conform our walk and conversation to the precepts of Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit applies them to our circumstances. The Sermon on the Mount is not a set of rules and regulations - it is a picture of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is having His unhindered way with us.” Oswald Chambers
When we consider those who mourn as well as those who are meek our first thoughts seem to be anything but “Blessed”. Most of the time, in thinking as the way of the world, those who are mourning and those who are deemed meek are not in enviable positions – no vying for their spots, their places on the ladder of life. They seem to invoke both our empathy and sympathy yet Jesus tells us here that “Blessed” is exactly what they are. Hmmm isn’t that interesting. Could it be that Jesus knew it was - and is still - most merciful of our loving God to allow us to be at the end of ourselves – at the end of our ropes, so to speak, to reach the edge of our need clearly realizing our vast limitations with nothing left to cling or hold on to which we have so foolishly put in the place of Him? Could it be that this is where abundance truly begins - humbled and broken and falling facedown at His feet? Wits end – empty - looking up is a good starting place for flesh. Blessedness begins with the brokenness of self. When we recognize our needs and bring them to the only One Who is able - Jesus states we are “Blessed” – possessing the favor of God. King David rightly states:
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalms 51:17 (NIV)
“The Lord sometimes suffers His people to be driven into a corner that they may experimentally know how necessary He is to them...Jesus can soon remove our sorrow, He delights to comfort us. Let us hasten to Him while He waits to meet us.” Charles H. Spurgeon
Indeed, Jesus’ job description while He walked on this earth prophesized in Isaiah - as well as stated and fulfilled by our Lord Himself - permeated with comfort and hope:
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)
“The believer is in spiritual danger if he allows himself to go for any length of time without tasting the love of Christ and savoring the felt comforts of a Savior’s presence. When Christ ceases to fill the heart with satisfaction, our souls will go in silent search of other lovers... By the enjoyment of the love of Christ in the heart of a believer, we mean an experience of the “love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us” (Rom. 5:5)... because the Lord has made himself accessible to us in the means of grace, it is our duty and privilege to seek this experience from Him in these means till we are made the joyful partakers of it.” John Flavel
Our Lord comforts us in our afflictions in order for us to in turn comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received. It takes no rocket scientist to realize the great need the world has for comforting. A casual glance around our spheres of influence will make that clear if we are simply willing to take our eyes off self and our own agendas and stop, look and listen for a moment. Masses of hurting humanity are everywhere – just like the disciple’s viewed only dressed up and pretending perfect. Since the fall of mankind way back in the Garden, there has been no shortage of pain on this earth. Nobody has more problems than people!
“God comforts us not to make us comfortable but to make us comforters.” John Henry Jowett
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Cor 1:3-4 (NIV)
Lastly, we read our Lord calling the meek “Blessed”. How odd. Meek conjures up milquetoast in my mind – someone not willing to take a stand – afraid of their own shadows. That is not at all what the word means. It is anything but weakness. It is a condition of mind and heart which demonstrates gentleness, not in weakness but in power. It is a balance born in strength of character – it is power under control. It is Jesus on the cross. I am reminded of our Lord’s Word to us later in Matthew:
28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matt 11:28-30 (NIV)