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8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. NIV New International Version
8You're blessed when you get your inside world--your mind and heart--put right. Then you can see God in the outside world. MSG The Message Bible
8Blessed (happy, enviably fortunate, and spiritually prosperous--possessing the happiness produced by the experience of God's favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God! AMP The Amplified Bible
8God blesses those people whose hearts are pure. They will see him! CEV Contemporary English Version
8Happy the clean in heart -- because they shall see God. YLT Young's Literal Translation
8Those who have a pure heart are happy, because they will see God. NLV New Life Version
8God makes happy those who have clean hearts. They will see God. WE Worldwide English (New Testament)
Happy are the utterly sincere, for they will see God!
J. B. Phillips Translation
8 O the bliss of those who are pure in heart, for they shall see God.Translation by William Barclay
Purity of heart is to will one thing - the Good in truth.Soren Kierkegaard
Blessed are those who see God, for they shall be purified.Philippe Vernier
What does it mean to see God? Some people see God's hand in everything; others never see God anywhere. Some people look at nature and see the Creator; others look at the natural world and see the evolution of random forces. Some people see God in the faces of the poor, the sick and the dying; others look and see only the hopelessness of wasted humanity. Some people see God wherever there is evidence of love and joy and peace; others distrust such experiences because love, joy and peace have short lives and then, what happens to God.
The pure in heart will see God. The word "pure" in this beatitude is used in reference to the heart which is inside of us and not seen outwardly. Although cleanliness may be next to godliness, the cleanliness which Jesus desires in us goes beyond outward appearance.Piety is not the same thing as purity because piety can be worn as a garment or applied to the surface as a veneer. Jesus did not intend to lead a masquerade!
Purity is a clean that goes through and through to the core of my being. Jesus had already looked at many outwardly clean people in his day, and he didn't have much use for most of them! At one point Jesus told the Pharisees they reminded him of a cemetery with beautiful tombstones, markers, and mausoleums, but inside they were full of dead bones and all kinds of rottenness! A walking mausoleum--maybe in Jesus' mind, that was the opposite of being pure in heart.
A life that is pure is undivided, consistent in both public and private. It needs no audience in order to perform. Some of us show one thing in public and something else, not as good, in private. We forget that God is the audience whether we are in public or in private.
Life is hard and when off stage and where there is no script, we get many things wrong. Purity demands that we stop pretending and admit to our private failures. We need to be honest about our lives. Many times we don't get it right. We are not clean; what we are is downright alarmed and frightened by our sins and shortcomings.
Consider some things you do in private--what you read or what you watch. Would you be embarrassed if someone looked over your shoulder and knew what you were doing? Is it consistent with what you want others to think about you? I have known the battle. Seeking God's will, yet wanting my way, too. Trying to let go, yet still holding on. Serving two masters, maybe more!
Later on in Jesus' ministry, he warned people about keeping the outside of the cup shiny, while crud was building up on the inside! Can you imagine that? To Jesus' eyes, we look like people very concerned with outward appearance, but careless about the filth that is building up on the inside. Jesus' words are very strong. We do not like to hear them.
To be pure is not to be perfect. It is to be honest--to come out from behind the mask and admit to our "uncleanness"; to get real with ourselves and with others; to be shiny on the inside as well as on the outside.
To be pure is to be clean or cleansed. The opposite is to be corrupt or corrupted. Or as Jesus' image of the dead bones suggests, the lack of purity reveals death, whereas purity springs to life wherever the spirit of Jesus abounds. Ivory soap may be 99% pure, but it will not make your heart pure. Only Jesus can do that.
Confession marks the beginning of our recovery from darkness to light.
With sincere statements such as these, we begin the journey toward purity of heart. No matter how dirty we get, purity can be regained. That's the Gospel message and the reason we call Jesus our Savior. Like Ezekiel's dry bones, our own dead bones start rattling back to life as our honesty gives birth to wholeness in our public and our private lives. We arise from the grave and do indeed "see God".
The reason we do not like to hear the hard words of Jesus is because Jesus demands that we change. We need to change the amount of time we spend on external appearances and realize the importance of working on the interior. We need to trade truth for pretense, and faith for fear. Whether we work individually, as a family or as a community of faith, we must get busy on matters of the heart and matters of the spirit.
I believe the starting point is our desire to live the life God wants for us. Thank God when the words of Jesus ring true in the depths of your soul and you decide to be the person Jesus wants you to be. Celebrate with joy, because that's when God can begin to work within your life.
Jesus has already stated in these beatitudes that our journey with God begins with poverty of spirit. As we humble ourselves before our Maker, acknowledging our unworthiness, Christ will raise us up to enter God's kingdom. Jesus told us God's kingdom is not a bed of roses, but we must be ready and able to endure hardship and sorrow, all within the security of the promise of comfort. Jesus spoke of the necessary attitude of meekness wherein we recognize it's not about us. It's a big world and we get a big picture as we submit to the reign of God in our lives.
Then Jesus spoke of the need on our part to long for righteousness more than physical food and drink, and showed us how to satisfy all our longings through one over-riding purpose--the desire for God. He instructed us to learn from God the beauty and goodness of mercy-giving, and partner with God to spread grace to everyone we meet and at every opportunity.
All that is the backdrop for this beatitude, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." Happy are those who believe the words of Jesus and obey by putting those words into practice. Happy are those who have their face set in the direction they are going; single-hearted, of one mind, whole.
Whether you are currently feeling good about your life, or whether you feel washed up, worn thin or whacked out, Jesus invites you to know the blessings of having a pure heart. Come, learn from Jesus. Be honest about the crud on the inside of the cup. Confess it to God and, as appropriate, to those within your circle of family, friends and fellows travelers on the journey. Be willing to let others know you deeply.
Purity is one of those gems from the kingdom of heaven. It is the treasure that Jesus looks for in every one who speaks his name.
Perfection is not the goal. Wholeness is. The life of Jesus inside your heart will make you whole, and make you pure so that you, too, will see God.