In order to draw attention to the truth of this beatitude, we could say, “happy are the unhappy”. What kind of sorrow can it be that brings the joy of Christ’s blessing to those who feel it? It is plain here in the context of Jesus’ sermon that those who are promised comfort are not primarily those who mourn the loss of a loved one...but, the sorrow of repentance. It is one thing to be spiritually poor and acknowledge it; it is another to grieve and to mourn over it. This is the mourning of loss of innocence, righteousness, of self-respect. This is the second stage of spiritual blessing. The Christian life, according to Jesus, is not all joy and laughter. In Luke’s version of the Sermon, (Luke 6:25), Jesus added a solemn word, “Woe to you that laugh now.” The truth is that there are such things as Christian tears. Too few of us ever weep them. Jesus wept over the sins of others...over the bitter consequences of judgment and death...and over the impenitent city which would not receive him. We, too, should weep more over the evil in the world, as did the godly men in Biblical times. “My eyes shed streams of tears, because men do not keep thy law.” Psalms 119:136.
Ezekiel heard God’s faithful people described as those “who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in Jerusalem..” Ezekiel 9:4. Ezra prayed and made confession, “Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore. And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing.” Ezra 10:1-2.
Paul mourned over the false teachers troubling the churches of his day: “(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)” Philippians 3:18-19 It is not only the sins of others which should cause us tears, for we have our own sins to weep over, as well. Have they never caused us any grief?
Paul groaned, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Romans 7:24. And he wrote to the sinful church of Corinth, “...ought you not rather to mourn...” (I Corinthians 5:2; II Corinthians 12:20-21). I think many evangelicals and Pentecostal Christians take grace out of context and do not take sin seriously. There is not enough sorrow for sin among us. When Christians truly mourn and bewail their own sinfulness, then the Comforter, the Holy Spirit really abides within them and the free forgiveness of God will relieve their distress. We will now truly be comforted. Jesus will “bind up the brokenhearted”. Isaiah 60:1-2; 40:1-2.
Jesus warns us to judge (mourn) ourselves first: “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5). And, if we judged (mourned) our sins, He would not judge us: “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” (I Corinthians 11:31). He said to pray for ourselves that we would not sin: “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41).
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
The Greek adjective praus means gentle, humble, considerate, courteous, and therefore exercising the self-control (fruit of the Holy Spirit), without which these qualities would be impossible. Jesus described himself as gentle (praus) and lowly in heart: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:29). And Paul referred to Jesus’ meekness and gentleness: “Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you.” (II Corinthians 10:1) Again, Zechariah prophecies regarding Jesus: “...he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass...” (Zechariah 9:9).
The meek are those with a gentle spirit. In this sermon by Jesus “the meek” come between those who mourn over sin and those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. So, meekness, or a gentle spirit, taken in the context of the sermon, is the result of a true estimate of us. Do people say that we are gentle and meek...a gentle spirit? What do they say about us? Do we have a humble and gentle attitude to others, especially when we are correcting them?