Matthew 5:8 – “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
In looking into what this verse actually means, I found a few references that can help us a bit.
Katharos, the Greek word for purity, has two meanings that are similar but different:
• It means clean—not dirty. Jesus warns, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual sins, thefts, false testimony, and blasphemies” (Matthew 15:19), and blesses the pure heart that is unsullied by these evils.
• It also means unadulterated, not mixed with foreign substances. The pure heart is devoted completely to God. The person with a pure heart does not just claim to have faith, but possesses the kind of unwavering faith that leads to faithful living.
The opposite of the pure heart is the divided heart. A divided heart will try to serve two masters, only to end up hating the one and loving the other. Jesus warns, “You cannot serve both God and Man” (Matthew 6:24). James says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8).
The second half of the verse, “for they shall see God”, is the promise that the pure in heart will see God is a fitting reward for the devoted servant of God.
C. S. Lewis notes: “It is safe to tell the pure in heart that they shall see God, for only the pure in heart want to” (C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain).
Pure. I always thought that this was a reference to a clean heart, surrounding yourself with “clean” things, not letting the dirt and grime of the world enter your heart, your soul. Yes, it certainly means that but the overall meaning is much larger than this. Jesus is saying that the pure in heart are focused from the inside out on one single thing.
That’s it. The rest is secondary and beyond. The single pure heart focuses on one thing. God.
Today. Where does your focus lie?