Daily Bread #21
The Blessed Beatitude in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount – 6
This is a lesson in character building for those in the kingdom
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”
One of the great verses in the Bible is John 1:18 where it states that no one has ever seen God at any time except the One (Jesus Christ) who is in close fellowship with the Father. If that is the case, then it behooves us to ask why? If God so graciously created us in His own image, why has He not allowed any mortals to truly behold Him? And since we all read the Bible with an inquisitive minds, we cannot help asking about the few references in the Old Testament about some of God’s faithful – Abraham, Moses, Isaiah and Ezekiel – who saw the invisible God. To get a proper perspective on these OT references on seeing God, all such references must be understood in light of John 1. A true face to face experience with God is illustrated in John 1:1. Literally, Jesus was in “front of God” for all eternity.
This is what John is affirming in verse 18. No one else except Jesus has this intimate experience with the Father, and that is the truest sense in which one may speak about seeing God. But God sets the prerequisite if one were to see (to be in His presence) Him. The heart must be pure. David asked God, “LORD, who may be a guest in your tabernacle? Who may dwell in your holy hill?” God answers with the following:
He who walks blamelessly.
He who does what is right.
He who speaks the truth from his heart.
He does not slander with his tongue.
He does no evil to his neighbor.
He does not disgrace his neighbor. Psalms 15:1-5
He despises a vile person.
He honors those who fear the Lord.
He does not go back on his word even if it hurts him.
He does not change interest when he lends money.
He does not take a bribe to testify against the innocent.
He who has clean hands (not outward appearance).
His heart is pure. Psalms 24:3-4
He does not lift up his soul to falsehood.
He does not swear deceitfully.
One who lives uprightly before God.
One who speaks honestly.
One who refuses to profit from the oppression of others Isaiah 33:14-16
One who does not take a bribe
One who does not engage in crimes
One who does not seek to harm others.
Jesus may call for purity of heart before one may dwell on the holy hill of God; but it is the Psalms – 15; 24:3-4 and Isaiah 33:14-16 who are providing the commentary on what is truly a pure heart before God. Purity of heart is a life that exemplifies the list God gives in the three cited passages, and seeing Him is more than looking at God; it involves living with God in His sacred space.
The Beltway Church of Christ is located in the Washington, DC metropolitan area in Prince George’s County, MD near Joint Base Andrews.