“Breaking Down the Beatitudes: Part 6”
by Matthew Rou, Junior
Campus News Journalist
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8
The dictionary defines pure as being free from contamination. I learned about pure substances in Mr. Snyder’s class. Chemistry enthusiasts may be interested to know that the Greek word for pure is katharos, which means something that has been purified and something that is undiluted (or not mixed). In this verse, Jesus is telling us to be pure in heart. I don’t know about you, but just reading that convicts me.
God’s definition of purity is being blameless. For us, that is someone who is cleansed in character. That means someone who acts the same way in public and in private. Why is being pure important? Because all of our thoughts, feelings, and actions begin in our heart. It is impossible to be pure on the outside and impure on the inside. That was the problem with the Pharisees. They thought that they were pure by keeping God’s law, but they were really impure because they were not truly right with God in their hearts. That is why Jesus condemned them as whitewashed tombs. Their outward appearance was good, but their hearts were full of sin and wickedness. Even today, we can be whitewashed Christians who believe we are pure because we do good things, but our hearts reveal a different story. It says in Luke 6:45 that we will do what is in our hearts because “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Look no farther than this past election or social media on any given day.
Remember, God looks at the heart. When He chose David over his brothers to be the next king, He told the prophet Samuel what He really saw in David. David was just a young boy, not necessarily someone you would imagine to be a king. Even though David’s heart was not perfect, God could see his love and compassion, and that is what made Him fit to be king of Israel. All of our emotions and feelings come from the heart. Jeremiah 17:4 says, “The heart is deceitful and in all things without cure. Who can understand it?” The answer to the question is God. He understands all of us, even before we were born. His purity is something that will never change because He is forever good. He created this world to be pure and good, but because of mankind’s fall, sin entered the world and into everyone’s heart. We are all born with sin in our heart, and it increases as we grow older. Billy Graham, a famous evangelist I admire, said this about our hearts, “The world is suffering from one problem – that problem is sin. It is a disease of the human heart.”
So is there any hope of being pure in heart? Take a drive on I-4 or watch a football game with my mom, and you might think it’s unattainable! Have you ever driven on the road and some mud splattered on your windshield? People normally use the windshield wipers, but that just smears it and makes the mud stick on there. It is the same way with our hearts. We cannot clean them on our own. The good news is that God helps us. A heart seeking God is pure. Allowing the truth of the Bible to penetrate our hearts and transform us is pursuing purity. We cannot sweep our sin under the carpet or hide it in the closet because it will just come back. It’s not about perfection – it’s about integrity – living out who you say you are. Or more importantly, Whose you are.
The way for your heart to become pure is by allowing Jesus to clean up all of that sin and giving Him more of your life. The more Jesus gains in your heart, the less sin exists. We can pray for purity (Psalm 51 and 139), draw near to God, and read His word. Then your heart will be pure, not because there is no sin, but because it is filled with the power and presence of God. It’s especially important in this culture to guard our hearts from the impure things of this world. James 1:27 cautions us to keep ourselves “unstained from the world.” To put it in today’s words: garbage in, garbage out. Be careful what music you listen to, books you read, and what you watch on television.
Finally, the promise of this Beatitude is that you will see God. What’s cool is that Jesus is not talking about heaven – He’s talking about now! That means that you’ll see Him in your life, your work, your house, and most importantly, other people will see God through you. Sin clouds our vision of God, but with a pure heart, we can see God in our lives, and others can see God in us. My pastor says, “A pure heart is a forgiven heart that is motivated for holiness and cleanses the eyes of the soul to see God.” God is the ultimate cardiologist; He will give us a new heart. If we allow more of Him in our lives, then we will see God through everything we do and can influence others. Or in chemist’s terms, “Holy homogenous hearts, Batman!”