“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”
Often these words of Jesus are taken as a very broad and nondescript comfort. Something along the lines of ‘every little thing, gonna be alright’. Is that what He means? Does Jesus mean that everything that upsets you now will turn to a source of joy in the future? Well, to a degree, sure (cf. Revelation 21 and 22). But is that what He was teaching here? I’m not so sure.
Rather than a general Bob-Marley-style statement, I think Jesus is saying that those who see their sin as sin now, and weep over it, will be brought to a place of joy when they see its record against them cancelled (2 Corinthians 7.10, Psalm 30.5). Charles Spurgeon wrote this:
“I do not believe in that faith which has not a tear in its eye when it looks to Jesus. Dry-eyed faith seems to me to be…not born of the Spirit of God.”
So, is Jesus lying about the future of the believer?
Is he saying something so detached from reality we can write it off as the words of a madman?
Given that He was a man of sorrows and a man acquainted with grief, Jesus personally knew the path of future hope that He was asking people to take (Isaiah 53.3).
Given how things turn out in the end (cf. Revelation 21 and 22), His teaching here might just be the most reality-anchored thing His listeners had ever heard.
How about you? Do you see these words of Jesus as a Bob-Marley-style statement, something of a catch-all encouragement that doesn’t actually refer to anything in particular? Or, do you see them as the words of the Lord teaching that what grieves you now (your sin and the consequences it brings) will be defeated, conquered, and replaced with eternal joy?