Re-seeing the Kingdom of God: The Pure in Heart

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8

As Jesus begins His public ministry, it becomes undeniable that people want to listen to Him. As he begins his Sermon on the Mount, His longest recorded sermon, He starts with a blessing. This first lesson to his followers is what has become known as the Beatitudes. A “beatitude” is a “supreme blessedness”, so who does Jesus call blessed?

As we continue to break down each of Jesus’s blessings, I think it’s important to pause and note what Daily Grace Co. authors mention about the Beatitudes:

“While it is common to hear the Beatitudes pulled apart or studied one at a time, it is wise to read and study them together. Jesus is crafting a sermon where each piece builds on the last. Many commentators have said that the first four beatitudes show the justification we receive from God, and the last four show the sanctification we receive from Him. Justification is when God declares us righteous because Christ’s righteousness covers us through salvation. Sanctification is the ongoing process believers go through over the course of their lives as they walk with God and He conforms them to His image.”

As we continue to look towards the Beatitudes on sanctification, let us look at the ways Jesus calls us to become more like Himself. Previously, we’ve discussed how God’s great mercy for us leads us to be merciful towards others (even if we find it challenging). Next Jesus shows us what it looks like to be pure of heart.

Jesus says “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” This one makes me teary. As we “hunger and thirst for righteousness,” we will be filled. And as we cultivate a relationship with Jesus and continue to walk with Him, “our hearts are transformed and renewed to become more like His” (Daily Grace Co.). We start to desire the things of God, and our hearts and minds are open to seeing Him in every area of our life.

Think about this for a second: before we knew Jesus, we still could see beauty, but didn’t feel the love of the Creator behind every beautiful sunset or the wind blowing gently through the trees. Before we knew Jesus, we might have felt good about ourselves, but we weren’t anchored in the truth that we are “fearfully and wonderfully” made in God’s image (Psalm 139, Genesis 1). Before we knew Jesus, we weathered the storms of life without hope; now with Him, we still face trouble but are reminded that Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33).

Life is sweeter, richer, and more bearable and glorious as we become more pure in heart. Becoming this way isn’t just putting on rose colored glasses and pretending everything is okay; it’s knowing that our souls are anchored in the person of Jesus (Hebrews 6:19) and in every aspect of our life, God is working for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28).

Take a moment today to think about where your heart and mind were at before you knew God. What has changed in the way you see the world and navigate circumstances since? Praise God for those changes today and thank Him for His willingness to continue to make your heart more like His.

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