Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” but what does that mean? How can we apply this wisdom to our everyday lives? Let’s look deeper into these words.
Matthew 5:8 is part of the Beatitudes that Jesus lays out at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. Instead of focusing on being pure outwardly, Jesus is saying to focus on being pure in your heart. Those who do that will see God meaning they will see God’s intentions, desires, and love for this world.What does Matthew 5:8 mean, and how does it apply to our modern lives? Learn what Jesus meant by “pure in heart” in the following blog post. Click To Tweet
Blessed are the Pure in Heart
The first part of this verse says, “Blessed are the pure in heart.” When Jesus said this, the old law of the Jewish people was about staying clean or “pure” instead of unclean. Leviticus 11-14 defines what is considered clean or unclean in food, diseases, childbirth, and molds.
All of these rules are there for the Jewish to be pure externally, and while those rules are practical, they aren’t what Jesus is concerned about in the Sermon on the Mount. When Jesus says “pure in heart,” He isn’t referring to those laws. He is talking about being internally pure, while His audience is thinking about the concept of purity starting externally.
The Bible shows that the Lord looks at the heart of a person before Jesus said this though. In 1 Samuel 16:7, the Lord has told Samuel to anoint a new king for Israel.
Samuel is looking at the outward appearance of David’s brothers and says, ‘surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord. But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”’
They Will See God
Now that we established what Jesus means by being “pure in heart,” what does He mean by “they will see God”? In Exodus, the Lord tells Moses that no man can see God’s face and live (Exodus 33:20). So when Jesus says the pure in heart will see God, He can’t be talking about physically seeing the Lord’s face.
One interpretation is that Jesus means you will “see” Him metaphorically. As in you will know the Lord and His desires, love, and intentions and know they are good. When you are pure in heart, you know the Lord.
How do we become “pure in heart”? The truth is, we will continue to fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) on our own. But Jesus sacrificed his life for us so we could be redeemed in the eyes of the Lord. The blood of Jesus is what purifies us.
Accepting that gift is how we can be pure. Once we do that, we start following Jesus’s teachings and are purified from the inside out.
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To recap, Matthew 5:8 means that those who are pure in heart will know God. Jesus said it another way when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)
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