Sermon: Life on Wings
Scripture: Matthew 5:4
In this week’s lessons, we learn what it means to mourn for our sin, and the comfort that Jesus promises.
Theme: Christ’s Comfort
Moreover, because a mourning for sin lies at the heart of Christ’s message, it is natural to expect this theme in the first of his great sermons. When Jesus entered the synagogue at Nazareth on the day that he began his formal ministry, he read from the scroll of Isaiah. He read: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19). What was the deliverance that Christ preached? It was not a proclamation against slavery, although that rightly followed in the history of the Christian church. The deliverance he proclaimed was a deliverance from the tyranny of sin. And it was actually because he broke this tyranny over men that he proved so effective later—as his Spirit worked through his disciples and followers—as a corrector of many of the social ills of this world, including physical slavery. The Gospels tell us that Jesus wept twice in his ministry: once at the grave of Lazarus and once over the sin and hardness of the heart of the people of Jerusalem. Sin was the great problem; thus, Jesus asked men to weep for their sin also.
Now the promise of the second beatitude is “comfort,” comfort to those who sense their sin and mourn for it. It is a great comfort indeed. In the first place, there is comfort in a deliverance from sin’s penalty. The sensitive soul will grieve for his sins and see them as the great offense to God that they are. But he may also experience the comfort that God has provided through Christ’s cross. The Bible tells us that we were dead in trespasses and sins, that we merited nothing from God but alienation and eternal death. But Jesus Christ came to step between the wrath of God against sin, on the one hand, and all who trust in Jesus Christ on the other. He took the blow of God’s wrath upon himself, paying the full penalty for our sin. God has placed the full righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ to the account of those who trust in him, so that we are seen as being perfectly acceptable before God. The Bible tells us that we have been “made accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6). And there is unspeakable joy in this experience. This is the joy that was foretold by the angels on the evening of Christ’s birth, when they said, “Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
What was the theme of Jesus’ message at the synagogue in Nazareth?
What is the first point made about Christ’s comfort? How does this comfort come about?
Prayer: Pray regularly for anyone you know who does not mourn over their sin.