The Beatitudes, Week 6
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean." Matthew 23:25-26
Like the Pharisees, we have a tendency to get caught up in the outward workings of our faith and miss the heart of the issue entirely. We whitewash the tomb, but there are still dead bones inside. We fool those around us into thinking that we have it all together, that we're a "good person," but God sees our sinful hearts.
"For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7b
The first thing that we learn from this week's verse is that Jesus is concerned with the heart, that deep private recess in each of us where our thoughts and feelings hide in secret. His aim isn't that we would become more moral or follow a set of rules; the good works of a sinful person don't please Him. He didn't come into the world to break our habits or clean up our act on the outside. Jesus came into the world because our wicked, deceitful hearts need to be made clean.
Second, Jesus promises that the pure in heart shall see God. Those whose hearts have been washed by the blood of Jesus will be admitted into God's presence, experience His glory, and be comforted by His grace. I find it fascinating that the One who spoke these words about the pure at heart in His Sermon on the Mount is the same One, the only One, whose death enables our hearts to be clean. And because Jesus purifies our hearts, we are able to see God and experience Him. Grace upon grace!
My prayer this week is that we would pray like David for clean hearts (Psalm 51:10) instead of trying to maintain appearances, and look to Christ "who gave himself for us... to purify for himself a people" (Titus 2:14).
Each week I design a new iPhone background with a different verse and share it on the blog. Seeing Scripture several times throughout my day reminds me of truth, strengthens my faith, and helps me me memorize God's Word so I can accurately share it with others. Feel free to download, pin, and share these backgrounds as many times as you would like!