“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8
A pure heart thinks what is right, loves what is good, and desires what is best. At first glance, this seems impossible for us. When Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” (those who know they don’t have what it takes) it’s not hard to say, “That’s me!” Or when Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn,” it’s easy for us to think of our sins and confess, “That’s me.” But when Jesus says, “Blessed are the pure in heart,” it’s hard to imagine anyone saying, “That’s me!”
Then Jesus adds another impossibility: “for they shall see God.” Recall that Moses—the friend of God (Ex. 33:11) and meekest man on earth (Num. 12:3)—wanted to see God’s glory, but God told him he had to hide in a rock. God would cause His presence to pass by, but Moses would only be allowed to see the afterburn of His glory. God said, “You cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live” (Ex. 33:20).
Yet, the apparent impossibility of these two things shows us how great a savior Jesus Christ is. Christ does not speak this sixth beatitude to mock us. He comes as our great Redeemer, holding precious gifts in His hands.
Did you know that every sinner in Christ—with all the baggage that sinful habits leave in our thoughts, feelings, and desires—can become pure in heart? Did you know that every sinner in Christ—who has been forgiven, washed, cleansed, and renewed—can see God? Did you know that every sinner in Christ—instead of shrinking back into everlasting hell—can move forward into an eternity of everlasting joy?
This is what Christ can do for sinners. He can purify your heart, so that one day you will see God. “For God… has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6).
Which of these gifts—purity of heart or seeing God—seems greater to you now?