“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God”
In a time when the Pharisees sought only to be perfect in their outward actions, the Lord says, “Blessed are the poor in heart.” Man may be carried away with outward appearance, but God looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7). The heart of man is naturally unclean. It isn’t in the power of man to make it clean either. This beatitude, like the others, emphasizes the need for salvation. Only upon salvation will we receive a new heart. Ezekiel prophesied about it thus: “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 11:19).
Theologian, John Gill comments on this thus: “such may be said to be so, who, though they have sin dwelling in them, are justified from all sin, by the righteousness of Christ, and are “clean through the word”, or sentence of justification pronounced upon them, on the account of that righteousness; whose iniquities are all of them forgiven, and whose hearts are sprinkled with the blood of Jesus, which cleanses from all sin; and who have the grace of God wrought in their hearts, which, though as yet imperfect, it is entirely pure.”
Elsewhere, the Lord rebukes the Pharisees saying: “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? …A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things…” (Mathew 12:34-35). In other words, the reason they did evil is because they were inherently evil. They needed a new heart to be pure and see God. So do we today. To receive a new heart, we must believe in Jesus. That is the only way we can be pure.
Father, I thank you for giving me a new heart when I came to Christ. The stony heart has been taken out of my flesh. My desires are God-ward. Thank you for more grace today, to effortlessly bear fruits, in Jesus’ name, amen.