Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 4
Thesis: Tears arising from godly sorrow will be turned into laughter.
Introduction: When Luke began to record the teaching of Jesus at the time when He had some down from the mountain, He deliberately selected those parts of what Jesus said that made the most fundamental issues stand out. In our studies of these teachings, we have seen that Jesus put the foremost issue -- being able to participate in the eventual and eternal Kingdom of God -- foremost. Then He explained what was fundamentally required of men for this "blessing". First, there is the issue that is so tightly wrapped up in men's attitude about wealth: the issue of whether, or not, a person comes to real grips with his/her absolute moral bankruptcy before God. Those who recognize this kind of "poverty" as theirs, are welcome to God's riches. Then, there is the issue of men's experience of true hunger; not that hunger that is of the belly, but that hunger for righteousness that resides in the souls of them who are so committed to the will of God that they will not give their bellies "lordship" over them. Those who come to this commitment shall be filled in that Kingdom which has, as its "scepter", the standard of righteousness.
This morning we come to the third most crucial issue: what is it that makes you cry?
October 21, 2007
- I. The Root of This Blessedness: Weeping.
- A. As with the former two "conditions of blessing", this one, likewise, needs to be understood.
- 1. Everyone has witnessed two very different kinds of tears.
- a. You do not live in this world very long before you run across people whose tears are all about themselves.
- 1) It begins very early when tears are rooted in personal pain and are discovered to be an effective method for manipulating others into giving what the "weeper" wants.
- 2) It morphs over time and use into a way to "handle" the disappointments of selfish pursuits.
- b. But most people, after having lived in this world for a while, also see tears of a different kind.
- 1) These tears are those shed because someone else has been subjected to painful losses.
- 2) These tears are not shed by the selfish; they can only have roots in a true concern for someone else.
- 2. Luke's record has examples of both of these kinds of tears.
- a. In Luke 7:11-17 and 8:49-56 we have the tears of personal loss and gross manipulation.
- b. In Luke 19:41 we have the tears of others' losses.
- c. And, in both Luke 7:36-50 and 22:62 we have the tears of blessing.
- 1) In both of these texts, the tears are of personal remorse for significant personal evil.
- 2) In both of these texts, the tears lay the foundations for the personal cleansing that underwrites the future blessedness.
- B. Jesus was attempting to make the entrance into the sorrows of others easier.
- 1. When the true cause of weeping is the losses of others, there is a certain blessedness attached because there is a day coming when there will be no more such losses.
- 2. When the losses of others have been caused by the one weeping, the weeping has the benefit of turning the one weeping into one cleansed by God: 2 Corinthians 7:10.
- II. The Outcome of This Root: Laughter.
- A. This outcome is an "odd" choice of terms.
- 1. The word translated "laughter" is only used three times in the entire New Testament.
- 2. The word so translated is never illustrated by any action of Jesus.
- 3. The word so translated is so committed to the meaning, "to exult over those seen to be inferior to the one laughing", that Theological Dictionary of the New Testament had to posit the nonsensical notion that Luke used the word "in ignorance" of its meaning. [Note Luke 8:53 where the intensified form of this word is used of those mocking Jesus.]
- B. This outcome, given the choice of terms Jesus used, indicates the same reality that Revelation 6:10 indicates: a true exulting over the defeat of the enemies of God.
- III. The Significance of This "Beatitude".
- A. There is going to be a triumph over everything that has the ability to cause tears.
- B. That triumph is a victory over both sins and sinners, angelic and human.
- C. That triumph is not to be watered down by an ungodly "piousity" that claims true love but is only a mask.
- D. This statement of blessedness addresses the foundational antagonism of God toward sin and those who engage in it without remorse and signals a day in the future when those wicked ones are finally put into their eternal abode.
- IV. The "Beatitudes" Thus Far...
- A. The first addressed the benefit to those who face their moral bankruptcy without mitigation of excuse.
- B. The second addressed the benefit to those whose desire for doing what is right is greater than their lesser desires.
- C. The third addresses the benefit to those whose tears are caused by the failure of "right" to triumph...either in themselves, or in others.