Matthew 5:8


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.

  • I made a mistake. . .
  • I did an awful thing. . .
  • I am ashamed of myself. . .
  • I lost the battle and surrendered to the enemy. . .
  • I never told anybody this before. . .

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.

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