TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Matthew 5:4
Jesus looks around the mountain and He sees a crowd of hurting people. Broken and hurting people swarm the Savior (Matthew 4:24). Looking upon this multitude, Jesus sees countless sad stories. Jesus would have been looking at a gathering of sick and infirmed people who are well acquainted with grief. These people live in an age of high infant mortality, short life spans, sickness, hunger, disease, and national humiliation. But these crowds of faces are drawn to Jesus. They come to Him looking for some hope. And they have come to the right place. Some of the first words out of His mouth are, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Jesus introduces His kingdom in stark contrast to the way things normally work in the world. His kingdom operates with an entirely different set of rules. Ordinarily when we survey the landscape of humanity, it appears that those who are enjoying the “blessed life” are those who seem to have no problems. The wealthy, the happy, the well-adjusted, the healthy––these are the people that seemed to be “blessed.” Even the popular theology of Jesus’ day seemed to confirm this: “Do good and you will be blessed, do bad and you will suffer.” The natural conclusion being that if you are suffering, you must be outside the kingdom of blessing. But Jesus turns everything upside-down. He looks to those suffering in their grief and He says, “My kingdom is for you.” “Are you mourning?” Jesus asks, “then you have come to the right place to find comfort.” Jesus’ kingdom is open to the grievers.
As a matter of fact, it turns out that those who are grieving may actually be more receptive to entering Jesus’ kingdom. Rather than seeing those who are suffering as being outside God’s blessing, Jesus shows mourners are at the very center of it. Are you grieving? Then come listen to Jesus. His kingdom is just the place for you.
Today, I will…pay careful attention to those around me who are hurting and are looking for some comfort. I will assure them that Jesus is not afraid of their hurts, doubts, and questions, but instead He welcomes you into His kingdom.