Matthew 5:4, blessed are those who mourn
5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
(Matt 5:4 WEB)
They shall be comforted
This next beatitude follows logically from the first, for when the Hebrew Bible speaks of the impact that restoring the Way of Righteousness will have for the humble poor, it also mentions that those who mourn will be comforted.
When we speak of people mourning the passing of a way of life or mourning because their team has suffered a terrible defeat, then we are close to the type of mourning Jesus envisaged here. When life begins to get more difficult, for example because of people acting selfishly, lack of justice, war, famine, or corrupt leadership, then those who can remember times that were better, or had hoped for a better outcome, will mourn their loss. Similarly, for those who love God, when they see their lifestyle systematically undermined and God’s servants ridiculed, alienated or persecuted, they mourn for times when God was held in high esteem and his representatives enjoyed respect. When following the Way of Righteousness begins to straighten things out, bringing justice, security and wise leadership, then such people are comforted .
The realist will recognise that a society’s members all bear a share of the blame for any decline in its godliness, especially as people tend to accommodate to their peer’s values and expectations without even realising it. For such an individual, sadness may be a response as much to the recognition of their own sin as an appreciation of the sin of others. For those who mourn their personal faults, the Way or Righteousness opens a route to forgiveness. Therefore, as it is established, such people will also find themselves comforted.