Have you ever been comforted following the loss of a loved one? Often, it is just the presence of another that is comforting. They may share memories of the deceased with you, or words of encouragement or simply be silent. They may hug you or shake your hand. Their presence is encouraging in the face of grief.
My father died a few years ago. I appreciated all the people who came to provide comfort. Some knew Dad. Others only knew a family member and wanted to comfort them.
The second Beatitude in Matthew 5:4 says “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” The word comforted is more interesting than the word mourn. In the original language it means “to call someone over” or “to call someone to your side.” It is translated in many different ways. It can mean to summon, to invite, to exhort, to ask, to help or to comfort. The noun form of the word can be translated as “comforter” or “counselor.” In fact, the noun form of the word is used to describe the Holy Spirit’s work in the lives of believers.
Was Jesus referring here to the comfort that God’s Spirit gives? Perhaps – but there is no way to conclude that for sure. We do see that the Beatitudes begin a sermon about the kingdom of heaven and the proper way to live. I think it safe to conclude that followers of Jesus who mourn will be comforted.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.