Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. – Matthew 5:4
Meaning of Matthew 5:4
The meaning of verse Matthew 5:4 is one of the Beatitudes spoken by Jesus. It is also called the sermon on the mount. These Beatitudes are not only loved by Christians but also respected and used by other religious groups. Here the verse ‘Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted’ means that God or Jesus Christ helps calm the people who are grieving over a loss. In other words, the verse implies that any person who suffers loss will find comfort through God.
Interpretations of Matthew 5:4
The verse Matthew 5:4 is an important condition and result-based verse from the Beatitudes. Following are a few interpretations of the verse.
Interpretation #1 God comfort but does not heal
One of the lesser-believed interpretations of the verse is that Jesus is not offering any solution or healing sick people. The reader believes that the phrases in verse ‘Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted’ imply that God will only comfort people with His words or allow His representatives, such as priests, pastors, and elders, to counsel them. Here, the reader who believes in this verse also accepts that to be closer to God, he or she must have a grieving heart.
Interpretation #2 Christians are mourning people
In this interpretation, the verse ‘Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted’ is considered as a character or a personality of a Christian. This opinion is either from an outsider or a non-Christian and a Christian who does not follow Christianity. Here the reader also believes that God wants His followers to be in a constant desperate or sad state in order to be close to them and comfort them. In other words, the believer believes that a happy person cannot have a faith or spiritual connection with God.
Interpretation #3 Jesus was foreshadowing His death
This lesser-known interpretation is also believed by a person who doesn’t believe that The Bible is the true account. According to this version, ‘Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted’ Jesus is addressing His listeners at the time of the Sermon on the Mount. Hence, the readers understand that Jesus is foretelling His death by crucifixion and prepare the crowd for the same. Thus implying that they will mourn for His death and Jesus will be with them in Spirit to comfort them.
Interpretation #4 Christians must mourn for their past
In this final interpretation, the readers, who are also faithful Christians, believe that the verse ‘Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted’ means that he or she must repent and mourn for their unfaithfulness. In other words, Christians will naturally feel remorse and guilt for their past sins and mourn before completely letting it go and starting a new life. In this process, the Christian feels comforted by receiving forgiveness and deliverance from God. This also leads a person to overcome any past addictions and start a clean life.
Historical background of Matthew 5:4
The book of Matthew was written between 70 – 90 A.D., and chapter 5 is set around 27 A.D. at one of the most important events during Jesus’ Ministry. It is also known as the Sermon on the Mount, which happens soon after Jesus calls all of His disciples. The verse Matthew 5:4 is a second statement of the Beatitudes. Here Jesus is not implying that a person must mourn for someone’s death but for their past life and addictions. Thus allowing themselves to be a peace, which is also a comfort that comes from God.
Literary Devices of Matthew 5:4
The verse Matthew 5:4 is one of the most important verses in the Beatitudes. The literary analysis of Matthew 5:4 is given below.
Theme – The major themes of Matthew 5:4 are repentance and deliverance. The minor themes are change and faithfulness.
Assonance – The verse has also used one vowel sound in repetition without a quick succession. For example, the sound of /e/ in ‘Blessed are they that mourn’.
Consonance – Despite being a short verse, the verse has repeated vowel sounds. For example, the sound of /r/ in ‘Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted’.
Anaphora – The verse Matthew 5:4 is also a good example of anaphora as the word ‘they’ is repeated twice to emphasize the person who is mourning for his or her sins and feels comfort after overcoming them.