Meditate on This! (3-18)
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God (Mt. 5:8)
The idea of purity/cleanliness looms large in scripture. Read back through Old Testament law and you will discover extensive discussions of purity that range from kosher food to cleanliness of the body to how to approach/avoid people who could contaminate the ritual purity of another.
When Jesus arrives on the scene, he changes the narrative. He touches people who were considered untouchable. He includes people who were usually excluded. He dines with people that were typically avoided for fear of religious “contamination.” He changes the focus of purity. It’s not the outside that matters. It’s the inside-that’s what requires cleansing. What’s more, it’s Jesus that does the work of purification. We confess our sin, we acknowledge our need, we open our hearts and lives, but Jesus does the dirty work by doing the cleansing work (1 John 1:9).
Our task then is do commit ourselves to staying zeroed in on the new life we are claimed and created for. That’s what the phrase “pure in heart” implied in the first century. A person who is pure in heart is not faultless, but they are focused. Rather than divided allegiance and double-minded in attention, the pure in heart are single-minded, singularly focused on seeking first the kingdom.
Those who are pure in heart are promised what was always longed for but for so long impossible. They will see God and experience all the wonders that go with it.
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure (1 John 3:2-3).