Summary: Purity isn’t just being clean; it’s being single-minded and intentionally focused. In this instance, God wants us to be focused on His kingdom and righteousness.
Tonight we’re going to look at the next attitude Jesus said we’re to have as His disciples. – “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” I wonder what that means, for they shall see God.
Remember we said that “Blessed” means happy. We sometimes think of happiness as an experience fueled by feelings and circumstances, but Jesus says that it is – to have an inward contentedness unaffected by surrounding conditions. It’s to be graciously approved by God and to receive the applause of heaven. To be blessed isn’t a superficial feeling based on circumstances, but a deep supernatural experience of contentedness based on the fact that your life is right with God.
So we receive the CALL to Purity. The Greek word used here in the NT for “pure” means to cleanse your mind and emotions. Scholars suggest the word has (2) meanings. (1) To make pure by cleansing from dirt, filth, or contamination—like metals being refined by fire until they are free from impurities. (2) It refers to being unmixed, having no double allegiance. I think this is where this beatitude affects us.
Purity isn’t just being clean; it’s being single-minded and intentionally focused. In this instance, God wants us to be focused on His kingdom and righteousness.
He reminds us in Matt. 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”
Put these (2) definitions together. A person who is pure is one who has been cleansed in his character so that the way he looks in public is the way he is in private. You’re just like Jesus even when no one is watching.
Story: A deacon and son were driving down a country road and saw a watermelon patch a little way off the highway. The deacon told his son to keep a lookout while he went to get a melon. He snuck into the patch, took a melon and called to the boy, "Is anyone coming? Look both ways." The boy wisely responded, "But Daddy, shouldn’t we look up too?"
Having a pure heart is to be so close to God that we don’t have to look up to see if He’s watching. It means we have a personal relationship with God and we only have to look within our heart to see Him. ”Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Jesus didn’t say, “Blessed are the pure, for they will see God.” If he had, then the religious would’ve been happy because they were experts at outward purity. They had all sorts of rules on what to eat, wear, and how far you could walk on the Sabbath. They did everything trying to make the outside look good, but they were covering up the inside.
They were covering up their heart. This is where this series began on Oct. 12th when we talked about guarding your heart. The religious forget that God already knows the CONDITION of the Heart. Jesus reserved his harshest words for those who knew how to mask their true heart.
A Pharisee is nothing more than a religious pretender – someone who outwardly portrays faith but inwardly is far from God. And let me assure you – there are more Pharisees today than there were in Jesus’ day. Jesus warned in Matt. 23:
”Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you’re full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Mt. 23: 25-28
They thought their religious acts made them pure but they were wrong. And if you think that your religious acts make you pure, then you’re wrong, too. Jesus saw through their pettiness and looked right into their hearts – In Mt. 15:8, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
Did you know that when God looks at you He pays little attention to your outward appearance? That might be hard to hear because some of us spend so much time on what we look like. But ultimately, this doesn’t matter to God as he looks past what we look like and how we behave, and He focuses on our heart – because that is who we truly are.