Have you ever wondered why John the Baptist cried out for the people to “Repent!”? Matthew 3:2. What was he asking them to repent of? Backsliding? Self-sufficiency? Rebellion toward God? It has been a mystery to me for a long time.
This week I heard a sermon which seemed to hold the explanation, at least for me. The speaker was addressing what happened when Adam and Eve doubted God and then transgressed by eating the fruit of the tree. Their relationship with God was lost, their paradise was lost, their sense of identity was lost in that one act They experienced a heart wrenching grief; they mourned. He described that deep sense of emptiness we all experience as the consequence of Adam’s sin as mourning. This struck a cord with me.
Perhaps John the Baptist was declaring that they could repent or turn away from or give up their mourning because the kingdom of heaven was near in the person of Jesus. This was indeed good news.
In teaching the disciples. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4. I have heard this taught as “those who always live with a sad heart will be comforted” or “in order to be comforted we must be in a state of mourning.” It is interesting how we tend to get these things twisted.
By looking at this verse from a fresh perspective, perhaps it means that all who mourn the loss of their relationship with God because of Adam’s action are blessed (given favor) in the coming of Jesus. YES! He has brought comfort, peace and calm to our hearts by bringing us back into relationship with the God who designed us to find joy in His presence and His love.
Food for thought,