Journey Through the Book of Matthew

Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

The Jews were preoccupied with purity. To be exact ceremonial purity, because of this their regulations were extremely burdensome to the point they often placed man made laws and traditions above God’s law. These exacting rules and laws were in the fear of outward defilement and to the point that they failed to perceive the stain that selfishness and malice imparted on the inward part of the soul, their heart and intellect.

Interestingly Jesus did not mention this ceremonial purity as one of the conditions for entering the Kingdom of God. Instead he point to the need for purity of the heart. James the brother of Christ writes in his epistle: The wisdom that is from above is first pure. James 3:17 All who are to enter the city of God are to have become pure in heart, one who is learning of Jesus. With an understanding of Jesus there will come a growing distaste for the careless manners, unseemly language, and coarse thought of the world. The greater our relationship with the things of heaven and the longer Christ abides in our heart, then there will be a refinement of thought and manner and purity of heart.

Having a pure heart has a deeper meaning – not merely pure in the sense in which the world understand purity. It means being free from that which is sensual, from the lusts of the world, free from the hidden purposes that motivates the soul to self-seeking pride.

Instead purity of heart means being humble, unselfish, having a childlike character. In John chapter 3 when Christ was talking with Nicodemus Jesus said “unless you become born again.”  Only when one has been born again of water and the spirit can one begin to understand the principles of Christ character. The heart that is controlled by Satan looks upon God as a tyrant, a relentless being seeking to destroy us by His exacting laws. When Christ was on earth He showed us that the laws and principles of God’s law are not exacting or difficult to keep when you are committed to developing and maintaining a relationship with our heavenly Father.

Even His disciples were so blinded by the selfishness of their hearts that they were slow to understand Him who came from above to show them the Father’s love. This was why Jesus walked in solitude in the midst of men. He was only understood fully in heaven.

To the heart that has become purified through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, all is changed. These can know God. Moses was hid in the cleft of the rock when the glory of the Lord was revealed to him; and it is when we are hid in Christ that we behold the love of God.

The truths that are hidden from the wise will be revealed to the pure in heart. The beauty and preciousness of truth, which are undiscerned by the worldly-wise, are constantly unfolding to those who have a trusting, childlike desire to know and to do the will of God. We discern the truth by becoming, ourselves, partakers of the divine nature.

As with Adam when he walked and talked with God in Eden, those that are pure in heart will one day walk with God in the earth made new. “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face.” 1 Corinthians 13:12.

Published by The Bible In Your Hand

Hi, I am Pastor Lester Bentley, a devoted husband, father, and Pastor for the Northeastern Wyoming District of the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. I am committed to the great gospel commission as stated in Matthew 28:19, 20.

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