By Brooke Holt
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:4-5
If anything can remind you that you are not in control of your life, it is grief. Counselors have described grief as a rollercoaster ride where you never know when the big drop is coming. Part of the journey offers a smooth ride, others are far too bumpy, and you experience both highs and lows. Grief is simply uncomfortable and uncontrollable.
So why would Jesus include those who mourn (those who grieve) as second among the list of blessings? While uncontrollable and uncomfortable, grief also provides a healthy response to loss. And this kind of grief is exactly what the Lord intends for you to feel about your sin and your inability to heal yourself. You are in a helpless, hopeless, and painful situation. Thankfully, that is not the end of the story. Recognition of your sin and grieving that sin is the way to restoration. Jesus provides the hope and remedy you so desperately need. But if you don’t feel the pain and desperation of your situation, will you find the remedy?
Thus, Jesus says “blessed are those who mourn.” When you acknowledge that you simply cannot fulfill the righteous requirements of the law then Jesus provides a new way – the way of the cross. Jesus perfectly fulfilled every requirement on your behalf. Let your grief lead you to him!
And the act of looking to Jesus, that dependency upon him will produce another “blessed” quality within you – meekness – another word that few people embrace. While the people of this world clamor for power, authority, and prestige, Jesus modeled an unusual way. Though he was and is God, he humbled himself and exercised meekness: the willingness to surrender his power and to work according to the plans and purposes of his Father. Jesus was not weak but was one who submitted his power and life.
Perhaps you are beginning to see that the kingdom of God radically differs from the kingdom of this world. “Blessed are you” when you embrace God’s kingdom and the way of grief and meekness!
Does this teaching of Jesus challenge you or make you uncomfortable? It is intended to! Bring your discomfort and your questions to the Lord in prayer asking him to work these qualities into your character. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Jesus’ great commission to his apostles after his resurrection was to go into all the world to preach, teach, and baptize in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. From the very beginning, baptism has been understood as the doorway into this new kind of family. Explore what Jesus expects of this new family that finds its origin and purpose in him. The baptized are called into a new life of faith. From passages in Matthew to the shining examples of faith in our passage from John, Waters of Baptism is a helpful resource for those seeking the sacrament of baptism or those who want a deeper understanding of their faith. This six week study will help us understand the importance of baptismal living.
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