Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God
Jesus continues the Beatitudes by stating what I believe is perhaps the most amazing Beatitude of them all. This Beatitude tells us that Jesus is concerned with our hearts. In a generation where we base so many things on outward appearance this is no doubt a profound statement. This is amazing because it encompasses what being a Christian is all about and that is seeing God. Earlier I discussed being poor in spirit. I believe that you can’t be poor in spirit without a pure heart. Often times when we hear the term pure the first thing that comes to mind for many people is sexual purity. While I believe sexual purity does effect your heart it’s not the end all be all to what Jesus is talking about here. By definition pure pure in the Greek is katharos which means without admixture, to be separated or purged, free from contaminating influences of sin. This word katharos is derived from the word catharsis which means to cleanse ones mind and emotions. When reading this definition about purity you may ask yourself how can I be pure? You may even think thoughts such as I’m sinful how can I be free from contamination of sin? I believe before we dig in we must understand an important concept and that concept is God and his word make us pure.
Purity of heart is something that can only be obtained with God. We see that King David actually understood this concept in (Psalm 51:10) as he prays for a pure heart. David understood that a pure heart could never be obtained without God. In fact he prays for God to create it. What this means is if we want a pure heart God must create it in us. In other words God must free us from contamination. He of course frees us from contamination through the blood of his son ( 1 John 1:7) . By being freeing us from contamination God is freeing us from a duplicit or divided heart. In my analysis of the scriptures I’ve found that in most cases when we have a divided heart impurity runs prevalent. It’s stated in (Matthew 6:24) no one can serve two masters. God has made it abundantly clear that he is in our lives to love us but he is also in our lives to purify us. An example of this is seen in (Isaiah 48:9-12).
In (Isaiah 48:9-12) God tells us that it is for his name sake that he delays his wrath and then the Word of God states in verse 10 that that God test us in the furnace of affliction. What I see here is purity is created through affliction or heat in our lives. I put before you the person who runs away from affliction and turns to sin instead will never be pure as stated in (Job 36:21) beware of turning to evil, which you seem to prefer to affliction. Through refining God purges impurity from us. Take for example the process of refining gold. For those of us who are familiar with the process of refining gold we understand that gold is first placed in a crucible and then subjected to intense heat. The heat causes the gold to melt and it’s impurities to separate and come to the top where they can be skimmed off. This process is repeated as many times as necessary in order to increase the quality and purity of the gold. Now think about this for a second according to (1 Peter 1:6-7) God thinks of our faith as being more valuable than gold so think about the trials God will put us through in order to create in us a pure heart.
Earlier I discussed how a heart that is divided from God and his will could not be pure. Now I would like to discuss something that creates impurity in all of us and can keep us from seeing God and that something is lust. Lust comes in many different forms and is extremely dangerous. Lust in Greek is empithmeo a strong desire, craving or longing. However this word specifically speaks of a longing for what is forbidden. Since the beginning of man we have struggled with the lust of what is forbidden. Take for example Eve in (Genesis 3:6) when it states that “ when the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and so desirable she took some and ate it”. It something about being told you can’t have something that makes us want it more. For example my 17 month old child loves to go in the garbage can. My wife and I have told him repeatedly do not touch the garbage can. However despite being told not to touch it my son will look at me then look at the garbage with a mischievous look and reach for the garbage can. Now of course he doesn’t do this consistently but because of my child’s disobedience this along with putting his hands in his mouth afterward can easily make him sick. The point in me giving this example is for us to establish something we should all allow to stick with us and that is without obedience there can be no purity. Lust feels like love until its time to make a sacrifice. It is common for many of us to confuse lust and love and thus defile ourselves and remain in an impure state.