Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Luke 6:21b Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

25b Woe unto you that laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep.

Luke 7:37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,

38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.

40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.

41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.

42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?

43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.

45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.

46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?

50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

II Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.


MEMORY VERSE: Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.  —James 4:9-10


CENTRAL THOUGHT: The person who is truly blessed of God is the one who realizes his poor and needy condition before God; is truly contrite and sorrowful for his committed sins, sinful nature, weakness and inability to meet God’s demands; and mourns, weeping genuine tears of regret and longing for God’s forgiveness and fellowship. He then experiences the Lord drawing him near to Him, lifting him up and extending grace and forgiveness.




Matthew 5:4 “Mourn”: grieve; bewail; lament.

Luke 6:21b “Weep”: mourn; lament; weep aloud, expressing uncontainable, audible grief.

Luke 7:37 “Sinner”: devoted to sin; preeminently sinful; especially wicked.

Luke 7:42 “Frankly”: freely; gratuitously; as an act of bounty.

II Corinthians 7:10 “Godly sorrow”: distress; vexation; pain of body or mind; grief; “Heart sorrow that brings a person down” (HELPS Word Studies). “Sorrow which is after the will of God” (Ellicot’s Commentary).

11 “Carefulness”: speed; haste; diligence; earnestness; enthusiasm. “Clearing of yourselves”: a plea; verbal defense; “A reasoned argument (defense) that presented evidence (supplied compelling proof)” (HELPS Word Studies). “Vehement desire”: eager longing; strong desire; earnest, yearning affection. “Zeal”: fervent eagerness; enthusiasm; burning emotion.

James 4:9 “Heaviness”: “The word here rendered heaviness occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means dejection; sorrow. It is not gloom, melancholy, or moroseness, but it is sorrow on account of sin” (Barnes).




Today we focus on the second Beatitude, “Blessed are they that mourn,” a close follow- up and response to the first Beatitude. “The one is the intellectual, the other the emotional aspect of the same thing. It is poverty of spirit that says, ‘I am undone’; and it is the mourning which this causes that makes it break forth in the form of a lamentation—‘Woe is me! for I am undone’” (James-Fausset-Brown Commentary).

The example that vividly describes this process is that of the sinful woman weeping at Jesus’ feet. Being deeply convicted of her sin, she sinks in deep contrition, pouring out confession and a plea for pardon through her flowing tears. Her faith in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God is expressed by the depth of her sorrow: she knows it is against God that she has sinned, and from Him only can she obtain forgiveness.

Such contrition can also be found in Old Testament examples: David, after he had sinned; Ezra, as he weeps for God’s chastened exiles; Jeremiah and Daniel, also repenting for Israel, and Manasseh, a most wicked king who turned with genuine contrition away from his horrible sins and sought God for forgiveness. The prophet Joel called for national mourning and weeping because of Israel’s sins.

In the case of the weeping woman, Jesus confirmed her sincere contrition and repentance by granting her comforting words of forgiveness. That is why, He explained to the Pharisee, she expressed so much love. She had, in faith, forsaken her wicked life and demonstrated assurance that He would forgive. “All true love to God is preceded in the heart by these two things—a sense of sin and an assurance of pardon” (MacLaren’s Expositions).

Paul, writing to the Corinthians who had also sought forgiveness with true godly sorrow, commends the earnest, diligent manner they demonstrated, contrasting this with the kind of sorrow that the world often displays—remorse, despair, a broken heart, suicide—none of them resulting in true repentance, or turning away from sin, but all leading to eternal death.

James seems to point back to Jesus’ teachings as he instructs seekers to mourn and be afflicted. I am reminded of Solomon’s observation about mourning and laughter. Sadness makes the heart better, he said (Ecclesiastes 7:2-4). Applying that to Jesus’ true meaning and the “godly sorrow” and “heaviness” preached by the apostles helps us understand Solomon’s words.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


1. Mourning or Laughter: What is the significance of each of these in this context? Express the difference you sense between the two.

2. She Loved Much: What preceded this outpouring of love to the Savior?

3. Godly Sorrow: What proof does one give when he/she is truly contrite?




Godly sorrow. I believe it is an attitude we should keep in our hearts before the Lord. Not that we are always sinning and repenting; rather, we are always recognizing how we depend upon the Lord to give us grace NOT to sin. We mourn our lack of wisdom, our insufficiency to meet the needs of others, our nothingness. Not that we go about in life with a long face. This is a grief that we keep before the Lord in private prayer. We rise with the comfort and strength that He has promised.

We also mourn before Him for the sins of those around us; for the lost sheep, the backsliders, for the world that needs a Savior. We mourn the distress and pain in people’s lives that is a result of sin; sins of our nation that have plunged it into chaos and ruin—abortion, addiction, abuse, violence, dishonesty, greed, immorality. We mourn the decay of pure religion; the apostasy, the religious confusion and division. We weep for those who are disillusioned, hurt and wounded.

Then there is the sorrow and pain of life. We all experience it and we all have times of mourning. Although in context Jesus’ words are primarily about the spiritual mourning of repentance, they may be applied in a healing way for all of the grief we bear. Truly, He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows. That is why His Spirit is called the Comforter.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




Reflecting on the account of the penitent woman who demonstrated her great brokenness, I am reminded of the following heart-yearning cry, written by Fanny Crosby:

Pass me not, O gentle Savior, Hear my humble cry; While on others Thou art calling, Do not pass me by.

Let me at Thy throne of mercy, Find a sweet relief; Kneeling there in deep contrition, Help my unbelief.

She was inspired to write this song after hearing a penitent prisoner she had preached to say, “Good Lord, do not pass me by.” This song captures the deep agony of spirit over sin, coupled with hope that every recipient of God’s grace must have exhibited.

Christ’s ministry is even yet a call to sorrow for our sins and to turn from them. He fills the penitent weeper with joy and laughter. Those who spurn his invitation, choosing to make merry outside of his offered grace, will be loaded down with the sorrows of sin in this life and the anguish and heart-wrenching wails throughout eternity’s torments.

—Bro. Jeremy Booher