Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8
No doubt the least visited discussion topic is purity. Can you remember the last time you had a good conversation about it? Think about radio and television talk shows. Have any of those dedicated a show to this subject? And what about church sermons? Can you recall a good window-rattling sermon on purity, and its cause and effect?
Jesus wants us to consider purity. So the sixth beatitude of his Sermon is, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God”. The very reason he wants us to think about purity is why we would rather not. Purity takes some mental concentration and dedication. He wanted us to be dedicated to God’s will and purpose.
Dedication to an unseen God, who rewards us in private, is outside our realm of experience. That makes it difficult for us to concentrate on spiritual activity. Yet this is the very activity that lets us “see” our invisible God.
Purity is to be free from taint or pollution. It is to have unmixed desires. In this verse, it does not mean you must be sinless before you can see God. You must simply want to be pure in thought, word, and deed. When you want to “clean up your act”, you have made a start on this beatitude. You will become pure in the full sense only after God himself removes your impure thoughts and acts. God purifies you. Our job is to cooperate with him.
Here Jesus teaches that your heart – your thoughts, feelings and emotions – must concentrate on meeting God. Knowing and pleasing God needs to be so important to you that it is your main desire. When you make this your priority, God will come to you. He will reveal himself to you so dramatically it is as if you have actually seen him.
Your face-to-face encounter with God proves his reality and nature. “Seeing” God and knowing him as Abba – your Daddy – is the blessing promised in this beatitude.