Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
This is a verse that is so rich in promise and at the same time contains a foreboding
warning that we must not ignore. As born again followers of Jesus, we can have ‘pollutants’ in our hearts – stuff that just shouldn’t be there. Unfortunately, we tend to be far more concerned over what is in the food we eat or the water we drink.
I think of the religious leaders in the time of Jesus. Here they had Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God right in front of them and the ‘pollutants’ in their hearts caused them to focus on everything but the reality God had right in front of them. What were miracles, signs & wonders and the greatest teaching that mankind has ever heard compared to who Jesus was eating with; who he was talking to; who he was associating with; and whether he did something he ‘shouldn’t’ do on the Sabbath.
The scary thing is that the same thing can happen to us. We can be so affected by the unclean stuff in our hearts, that we miss God. We can become spiritually blind and disoriented. That which should be avoided is embraced; while that which should be embraced is avoided. It results in us missing the life and blessing that God has for us – the wonder of Him working in us day by day.
We like to hear about being ‘Blessed’ and ‘seeing God’ but it is the core of being pure in heart that must command our attention. We must come to understand what that means and commit ourselves to getting there. Matthew Henry has some helpful thoughts on this verse:
“Here holiness and happiness are fully
described and put together. The heart must be purified by faith, and kept for
God. Create in me such a clean heart, O God. None but the pure are capable of
seeing God, nor would heaven be happiness to the impure. As God cannot endure
to look upon their iniquity, so they cannot look upon his purity.”
A clean heart is what God desires. Let us remember Jesus’ words that describe the uncleanness that can come from within – when we do not take following Jesus seriously:
“’For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come
from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’” Mark 7:21-22