Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God (Matthew 5:8)
These words were spoken by Jesus Christ as part of His famous Sermon on the Mount. The statement is one of a series of statements in which Jesus pronounces different blessings on various types of people (pure in heart, poor in spirit, merciful, peacemakers, etc.).
Something that is pure is something that consists completely of the same material with nothing else mixed in. If the material is something of value, then the more pure the object is, the more valuable it is. For example, a gold bar that is pure gold is worth a lot of money; however, if there are other materials mixed in, the bar is worth less — even if it looks the same on the outside.
What does your heart need to consist of for you to be considered “pure in heart”? When you consider that the heart — at least metaphorically speaking — is where a person’s true feelings are kept, and it is also where love is supposed to come from, it becomes clear that when the scriptures refer to someone who is pure in heart, it is a reference to someone who truly loves the Lord and is completely devoted to living a life for Christ.
Another word that can be used in place of “pure in heart” is “sincere.”
The origin of this word goes back to a time when street vendors would sell ceramic soup bowls. If there were any cracks in the ceramic, a little bit of wax was used to fill the cracks and, after a fresh coat of paint, the bowl looked as good as one without cracks. However, when the unsuspecting buyer tried to actually put hot soup in such a bowl, the hidden wax would melt and, well, it became obvious that the bowl wasn’t what it appeared to be.
In order to assure prospective buyers that they could purchase with confidence, many street vendors would mark their bowls “sine cera” — Latin for “without wax” — meaning what you saw on the outside is what you were truly getting. Obviously, a “sincere” bowl was more valuable than one that was not.
OK, so you feel like you’re sincere in your service to God. Do you “see God” as Jesus said you would? Well, if you’re truly devoted to the Lord, then you see God everywhere you look! You see Him in the sun rising every day; you see Him in your work; you see Him in your family; of course, you see Him in church. You see Him because you look for Him — if you pray about something, then you’ll look closely for God’s response, seeing Him in ways that others totally miss. So, if you’re pure in heart, you definitely see God.
In Jacob 3, Jacob specifically speaks to those who are “pure in heart.” He encourages them to pray with exceeding faith and to expect God to respond. He tells them to feast upon the love of God, as it is always available to them. In short, he tells them that they can see God in their lives. On the other hand, he exhorts those who are not pure in heart to speedily repent before the opportunity to see God passes them by.
Being pure in heart doesn’t mean we’re perfect, but it does mean we love the Lord above all else. If we sense some impurities in our feelings toward God, then let’s do our best to work those out and move in the direction of being pure in heart so that we will see more of God in our lives.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.