What does Matthew 5:4 really mean?

4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.


Setting the Scene for Matthew 5:4

The scene in Matthew 5:4 takes place on a mountainside where Jesus is delivering the Sermon on the Mount. The crowd gathered around Jesus includes his disciples, who have been following him and learning from his teachings. The disciples are a diverse group of individuals, each with their own background and experiences, but united in their desire to understand Jesus’ message.

As Jesus begins to speak, the crowd falls silent, hanging on his every word. The atmosphere is one of anticipation and reverence, as everyone present senses the importance of what is about to be shared. The mountainside provides a natural amphitheater, allowing Jesus’ voice to carry across the crowd, ensuring that all can hear his message of love, compassion, and righteousness.

The setting sun casts a warm glow over the scene, creating a sense of peace and tranquility. The beauty of the natural surroundings serves as a fitting backdrop for the profound spiritual truths that Jesus is imparting to his followers. In this moment, on the mountainside, Jesus is not just a teacher but a beacon of hope and light, guiding his disciples towards a deeper understanding of God’s kingdom.

What is Matthew 5:4 about?

Jesus teaches an important lesson about the power of mourning and the promise of comfort in this verse. Mourning is a natural response to loss, suffering, or difficult circumstances. It often involves a deep sense of sadness and emotional pain. However, Jesus reminds us that those who mourn are blessed. This may seem contradictory at first – how can mourning be a blessing? But it’s in times of mourning that we allow ourselves to truly feel and process our emotions. It is a sign of our humanity and compassion for others.

The promise of comfort that Jesus offers is a source of hope and solace. It reassures us that we are not alone in our pain and struggles. This comfort can come in many forms – through the support of loved ones, the strength of our faith, or the healing power of time. We open ourselves up to a deeper sense of peace and healing by acknowledging our pain and turning to God for comfort. It’s a reminder that even in our darkest moments, there is light and love waiting to embrace us.

So, let us embrace our mourning with courage and grace, knowing that it is a crucial step towards healing and finding comfort. Do not be afraid to grieve, for it is a sign of our humanity and our capacity to love. And let us hold onto the promise of comfort, trusting that God’s love and presence will always be with us, guiding us through our pain and leading us towards a brighter tomorrow.

Understanding what Matthew 5:4 really means

Structure for Commentary:

  1. Introduction to the Verse
  2. Context within the Sermon on the Mount
  3. Explanation of Key Phrases
  4. Cross-References to Other Biblical Passages
  5. Relevance to Modern Life
  6. Anecdotal Illustration
  7. Conclusion and Reflection


1. Introduction to the Verse
Matthew 5:4 is part of the Beatitudes, a series of statements made by Jesus during the Sermon on the Mount. These teachings offer profound insights into the nature of true happiness and divine blessing. This particular verse speaks to those who are in mourning, promising them comfort.

2. Context within the Sermon on the Mount
The Sermon on the Mount is one of the most famous sections of the New Testament. It addresses various aspects of life and spirituality, emphasizing the values of the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus in the Beatitudes turns common expectations upside down, presenting a vision of blessedness that contrasts sharply with worldly views.

3. Explanation of Key Phrases
The phrase “those who mourn” refers to people who experience deep sorrow and grief. This mourning could be due to personal loss, societal injustice, or a recognition of one’s own sinfulness. The promise “they shall be comforted” assures that God’s presence and grace will bring solace to those who are suffering. This comfort is not just a temporary relief but a profound, divine consolation that sustains and heals.

4. Cross-References to Other Biblical Passages
This theme of divine comfort is echoed in other parts of the Bible. The prophet in Isaiah 61:2 speaks of proclaiming “the year of the Lord’s favor” and the “comfort of all who mourn.” Similarly, Revelation 21:4 promises that God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” These passages reinforce the message that God is intimately concerned with our pain and actively works to bring us peace.

**5. Many people in today’s world face various forms of mourning—whether due to personal loss, social injustices, or global crises. The assurance of divine comfort is profoundly relevant. It reminds us that in our darkest moments, we are not abandoned. Rather, God is near, offering a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

**6. A woman who has lost her job and is struggling to support her family serves as an anecdotal illustration. She feels overwhelmed and hopeless. She turns to her faith in her mourning and finds comfort in the promises of Scripture. She connects with her church community, who support her with prayers and practical help. Through these acts of kindness and her growing trust in God’s provision, she experiences a deep, abiding comfort that restores her hope.

7. Conclusion and Reflection
Matthew 5:4 invites us to reflect on the nature of true comfort. It challenges us to seek solace not in temporary distractions but in the enduring presence of God. We can hold onto the promise that divine comfort is always within reach as we face our own trials and support others in their grief. How can we be agents of this comfort in our communities? How can we open our hearts to receive it ourselves? Reflecting on these questions can guide us toward a deeper, more resilient faith. Matthew 5:4 urges us to embody and extend the comfort that we have received, offering not just a promise but a call to action.

How can we find comfort in times of mourning?

We can find comfort in times of mourning by acknowledging our grief and allowing ourselves to feel the emotions that come with it. We can find solace in knowing that it is okay to mourn and that we are not alone in our sorrow. We can begin to heal and find comfort in the midst of our pain by accepting our feelings and seeking support from others.

Furthermore, we can find comfort in the belief that our suffering is not in vain, and that there is a greater purpose to our struggles. Through faith and prayer, we can seek strength and guidance from a higher power, trusting that we will be comforted and supported during our time of mourning. We can gradually find peace and healing as we hold onto hope and find meaning in our grief while navigating through our sorrow.


Think of life like a busy office or a bustling home. Just as you’d help a colleague struggling with a tough project or comfort a family member having a bad day, take a moment for those who are mourning. Your empathy and support can bring light into someone’s darkness, much like God’s grace does. Will you be the reassuring presence someone needs today?