Sermon on the Mount – Pure of Heart
Pure of Heart
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
(Matthew 5:8, NIV)
The Sermon on the Mount occurred relatively early in Jesus’ ministry. And what a teaching it is! Jesus did not, however, just walk up the mountain one day and begin preaching. He faced His own trials and spent time preparing before beginning His ministry. For years, He would have listened and observed the religious leaders of the day – the Pharisees. He would have heard what they had to say, and witnessed their actions. Did they talk the talk and walk the walk?
Jesus was also uniquely gifted in that He knew the condition of the hearts. He knew how they really and truly felt about the words they spoke and the actions they took. He knew that although they outwardly appeared to be doing as they preached, their hearts revealed their true nature, one which was contrary to the Word of God.
“What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” (Mark 7:20-23, NIV)
In Mark 7, Jesus explains that sin begins in the heart. It is often manifested in outward actions, but not always. Sometimes, our sin remains in our hearts. We think that no one but us knows what is truly in our hearts. But God knows. God can see our hearts. He knows our innermost thoughts, our innermost feelings. It is not just our actions that are important to Him, but also our thoughts, because eventually, those thoughts will manifest as actions.
To become pure of heart, we must continually come before the Lord and confess our sins. A pure heart is a heart for God. It is constantly seeking God, resting in His grace. Becoming pure of heart requires complete surrender of our lives to Jesus Christ. Through His blood, shed on the cross at Calvary, our hearts can become cleansed.
Jesus promises those who are pure of heart will see God. Jesus is not simply saying that we will see Jesus when we are in Heaven. Rather He is pointing out that when we seek to be pure of heart, we can see God on earth as well. God is in the sunset. God is the bloom of the flowers. He is in the thunder. He is in everything! For He created everything! When we surrender to Him and seek to make our hearts pure, we can see Him in our everyday lives.
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