I was most excited about writing about this beatitude because it is the one I had the most questions about. What does it even mean to be pure of heart? What does the Bible have to say about that? What did Jesus mean? Is this the same use of purity that we talk about at Across My Heart?
Matthew 5:8 – “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
Where it all begins
Throughout the Old Testament, we journey with God’s people as they figure out how to be His in a world that is destroyed by sin and therefore creates a barrier between the people and Yahweh. The Israelites are living in a sinful world. God is so holy that if they enter into His presence, they could die. Yet God provides them with a way to still be with Him, which starts with Moses’ construction of the tent of meeting. Essentially this tent provides a place that Moses can meet with God and be safely with Him (You can read more about the technicalities of this in Exodus 33 & 34).
This eventually evolves to the construction of the temple. The temple was known as the house of God, and there was one room in the temple that the priest would go into once a year after being ritually cleansed to be in the presence of God.
When Jesus comes and presents himself as a sacrifice, He bridges the gap between us and God. The people no longer have to cleanse themselves, create boundaries, or be afraid of being in the presence of His holiness: because Jesus presents us as clean before the Father. He becomes our Great High Priest.
What it all means
My study Bible said something that gave me much reassurance, of which I hope to pass on to you:“Jesus here offers his ‘kingdom manifesto’. Like the ‘already but not yet’ reign of God, this is the ideal ethic for which believers must strive, even while recognizing they will fall far short of living up to it.”
Essentially, I took this to mean that while Jesus knows we will fall short of being 100% pure of heart in a sinful world, He desires us to strive for that in order to grow closer to Him. We cannot produce our own purity in a world riddled with sin. It is because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross that we can have a relationship before the Father and be pure in His eyes.
When Jesus uses the word “heart” he is referring here to the center of a person’s entire being. This is why at Across My Heart, we talk about holistic purity: purity involving not just physical actions, but a person’s mind, body, and emotions. Blessed are those whose thoughts and actions strive to reflect the purity of God’s nature.
This specific verse shows us something special. It shows us that we don’t have to make ourselves pure or clean, we just have to present ourselves to God, allow Him to make us pure, and then we will see Him. We can rely on the salvation gifted from God to be in His presence and pursue lives of purity to match His desires for us.
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- Memorize Matthew 5:3-12 in any translation!
- Send us a video of you reciting the passage by heart by November 20 11:59 pm
- You’ll be entered to win the prize drawing and the winner will be announced November 23!
THE BEATITUDES MELODY
Abigail Houston from Melodically Memorizing wrote and recorded this melody to help us write The Beatitudes across our hearts! We LOVE her ministry and passion for God’s Word! We hope this song blesses you as we memorize this passage throughout the “Blessed are…” Blog Series!
Find her on instagram @melodicallymemorizing
MATTHEW 5:3-12 [THE BEATITUDES]
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.