As we pray over and ponder these very words of Jesus and His thoughts, we must remember that Jesus is addressing tons of people. He is speaking not just to His disciples, who were indeed present, but also to the crowds who were flocking to Him. He is addressing them.
What we see in the Beatitudes at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount is a series of reversals. Reality changes once a person accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Jesus is letting the crowds in on the Truth that once a person accepts Him (being ‘poor in spirit’) that mourning for sin will happen. Sin will wreck us.
Most of the time we quote this verse about someone losing a family member. This is a tender heart issue and God certainly meets us in our grief, but in context, Jesus is teaching about mourning sin and the life once lived apart from Him. We must mourn that we put Jesus on the cross.
Most of us truly do not understand the gravity of our sin. We do not care about sin. We say, ‘It is just my lifestyle.’ ‘It’s who I am.’ Those who approach our brokenness before God like that do not repent and deal with sin. They do not live a life of repentance and chasing after God.
The crowds listening to Him will be comforted when they mourn for their sin.
A great example of this in Luke 18:13 (ESV): “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’” That is a man who mourns his soul. He is confessing sin. That is true mourning. The result of taking sin seriously and mourning for the sin that placed Jesus on the cross is weeping and self-loathing.
Those are powerful emotions.
God promises comfort.
There is brokenness and breaking of boundaries that must be mourned in order to turn to God in Christ by the power of the Spirit. We have to turn away from sinful lifestyles and want to reflect God. Those who do are the inheritors of the kingdom. Those who cannot mourn sin cannot belong to God. Proper place of sin (we all sin) must have its place in God’s order.
It is very possible that we have lost this passion. People lean too much into the world. Politics. Living together. Sexual identity. We can easily confuse the order of the world and the church order and faith gets muddied. There is a wide widespread confusion of faith and the world. Mourning for sin is lost. We are all dealing with this and no one is exempt. Your sin might be more frowned upon, but we are all dealing with the brokenness of the sinful world we live in. You might be further from God’s intent, but mourning for sin has to happen all the same.
There is a continuance in this thought about mourning for sin from the first beatitude. We are poor in spirit and then move to mourn our old life and sin. People are in different situations in the crowd to whom Jesus is speaking (just as we do). Every single one of us must mourn for sin because we recognize where we are at in this life and look forward to hungering and meekly starting after God.
TMB & BMD