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The Beatitudes: Blessed Are Those Who Mourn for They Will Be Comforted

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Jesus taught, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted" (KJV, Matthew 5:4). The beatitudes are like any other scripture--they should be explained by scripture. Yes, scripture is the best commentary on scripture. Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted is one of Jesus' many teachings that doesn't seem to need much explanation. However, it's just not quite that simple to explain beatitudes.

Blessed Are They: Key Words in the Beatitudes


There are three very important words in the beatitudes, words that are crucial to understanding blessed are they. The first question those words should cause the Christian believer to ask is, "Is everyone who mourns blessed?" The answer is found in scripture. We read, "Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god..." (Psalm 16:4). Not everyone mourns for the same reason; therefore, not everyone is included.

Those who run after another god instead of serving the God of Israel will mourn--and they are not blessed. Scripture does not say that they will be comforted; it says that, "their sorrows shall be multiplied." They are not included in the group of which Jesus spoke when he said blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.

Revelation 18:9-11 says, "And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her shall bewail her and lament for her when they shall see the smoke of her burning. Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more."

The wicked city of Babylon, which actually existed, is also a symbol in the Christian Bible of great and mighty wickedness. Obviously, the people who mourn over her judgment are wicked and they lament because her destruction is their downfall. Neither those who hasten after another god nor those who hasten after Babylon are among the people of whom it's said blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.

Who Among Those Who Mourn Will Be Comforted?


Those who mourn because of genuine repentance from sin and disobedience to God are those who will be comforted. God's word says, "Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands ye sinners and purify your hearts ye double minded. Be afflicted and MOURN and weep. Let your laughter be turned to MOURNING and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and he shall lift you up" (James 4:8-10).

The scriptures say that God will lift up the people who mourn because of their disobedience to him. To be lifted by God is to be comforted by God. There are many more scriptures that teach the very same truth as James 4:8-10. Christian teachers of Bible studies and Sunday school lessons dealing with the beatitudes or any other passage from God's word should be extremely careful to get understanding themselves before "teaching" others. When we say, "blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted," we should know to whom that truth pertains and to whom it does not pertain.


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