We’ll continue with looking at the beatitudes. Today we think about Matthew 5:8: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. That’s a promise that I would like to see fulfilled in my life…seeing God.
What does it mean to be “pure in heart”? As many of you know, the New Testament was originally written in the Greek language. The word “pure” is a term that was often used of a metal that had been refined until all impurities were removed, leaving only the pure metal. In that sense, purity means unmixed, unalloyed, unadulterated. Someone has said this: “Applied to the heart, the idea is that of pure motive-of single-mindedness, undivided devotion, spiritual integrity, and true righteousness.” That application makes sense to me.
How do we have a “pure heart”? The first thing that comes to my mind is that a pure heart can only come from a new heart. No matter, how much human refining is done, I believe there will always be trace elements of impurities in metals. You can’t get rid of all the impurity. The same is true for the human heart. The human heart has been damaged irreparably by sin and can never be made pure by human effort. However, through Jesus Christ, a person can receive a “new heart”; one that is pure. I think that is the first application of Jesus’ words here.
Second, there is an admonition here and elsewhere to live a pure life. We are consistently reminded to flee sin and to pursue holiness and righteousness. When we do this, I think it is easier for us to “see God” and to see Him at work in our lives. Sin is like dirt on a windshield…it can obscure the view that we want to have.
To wrap this up, we can only have a pure heart when God gives us one through Jesus Christ. We need this pure heart to be able to “see God”; to experience eternal life. Second, our “view” of God is cleared up by purity of life. There’s a lot to think about in this one little verse!