If there ever was a time for Jesus to speak to our souls, it would be today and with this verse:
He’s already told us that the poor in spirit will have the kingdom of heaven, and now he’s looking out at that crowd and spotting those who are mourning—for the loss of a spouse, a child, a dear friend, a livelihood, a missed opportunity, and wrongful deed—whatever the source of grief, Jesus sees them and offers comfort.
Jesus sees you and reminds you that in him there is comfort.
Have you ever watched someone drown their sorrows in alcohol? What about with drugs? Or, maybe sorrow has led to a person becoming a recluse, putting themselves in self-isolation from the world, because of their pain. I’ve watched others pour themselves into work to avoid grief. Name it, and people have tried it as an avenue for comfort. There’s one problem with that.
Earthly sources of comfort provide only temporary relief.
Today on the mountain, Jesus is telling us that he provides the comfort nothing else can give. Why do we find comfort in Christ? Because when he lives inside us, we realize that this world is temporary—grief and all—while the eternity he holds yields no tears. Our temporary loss on earth is replaced by eternal gain in relationship with him.
Living on earth with eternity in sight, lifts my grief and replaces it with hope—that’s comfort.
The thousands on that mountain could not have grasped the fullness of this statement until Pentecost, but it would still lead many to believe, trusting that this radical Rabbi met them right where they were. Many were certainly grieving their occupation by an oppressive government, longing for a day of release. Even in this, Jesus would offer comfort. Though their situation would not immediately change, their state of being would.
Have you ever experienced comfort in the midst of a storm? Then you are able to say, with the apostle Paul:
If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.Romans 14:8
And, knowing we have his comfort, we can comfort others:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings that we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that as you share in the sufferings, so you will also share in the comfort.2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Do you see your grief as a blessing? Even if it’s hard to see it today, know that in Christ, you are blessed, because he sees and comforts.
If you’ve known his comfort, don’t forget to share it with those who as yet have not known the blessing.
Grace and Peace