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Bluegrass Bible Beat: Those who mourn

By: Scott Adkins, Sling ‘n Stone Ministry
Carter County Times

Those who mourn

By: Sling n’Stone Ministry

Last week we talked about those “poor in spirit,” in Matthew 5:3. This week, we move on to the second Beatitude: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” in Matthew 5:4. Many bible scholars, including Pastor John MacArthur, teach that being poor in spirit leads one to mourn, or to be sorrowful. But what kind of mourning or sorrowfulness was Jesus talking about in Matthew 5:4? Going back again to the original Greek, we find that Matthew used the Greek word, pentheo, which presents the strongest, most severe term for mourning. Pentheo appears, for example, when describing the sorrow Jesus’s disciples suffered before learning Jesus rose from the dead. (Mark 16:10). As Pastor MacArthur explained, pentheo “carries the idea of deep inner agony[.]” But agony over what? What causes one to stand among:

Those Who Mourn

Isaiah 53:3 prophesied that Jesus would be “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” Interestingly, nowhere does the New Testament record that Jesus ever laughed. But what brought Jesus to sorrow and tears? Luke tells us that, as Jesus approached Jerusalem just before His crucifixion, He “wept.” (Luke 19:41). Why did He weep? Jesus wept over Jerusalem’s sin and refusal to repent. King David mourned over his own great sins with Bathsheba. (Psalms 38:4) (“For my iniquities are gone over my head; as a heavy burden they weigh too much for me.”). David’s sorrow led him to sincere repentance. (Psalms 51:3) (“For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.”). Martin Luther, who launched the Reformation, wrote that our entire life, as Christians, is one continuous act of contrition and repentance. In fact, Matthew 5:4 uses pentheo’s present participle form, which indicates continuous action.

So, “those who mourn,” in Matthew 5:4 refers to those who suffer a continuing sorrow for their sins, like the sinner woman at Nane in Luke chapter 7. But like Jesus, we too should mourn over the world’s sin around us. That kind of mourning drove a small group of Christians, the Moravians, in Herrnhutt, Germany to launch a 24/7 prayer vigil that God would send a great spiritual awakening. Their vigil last over 100 years; and finally, God sent a spiritual awakening—the First Great Awakening—that started in Herrnhut and then spanned the globe and transformed colonial America.

If a similar awakening came to America today, we would see literally tens of millions of genuine, lifelong converts to Christ. Oh, that we would yearn to be among “those who mourn,” and that yearning and mourning drive us to continuing sorrow for our sins, and for the sin of the world around us. If and when we, as believers do come to “mourn” like Jesus, David, and the Moravians, our mourning would drive us to act. Not only would our doing so bring us much closer to the Savior, our doing so would save America from the judgment that seems sure to otherwise come.



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