“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
As I have done with the other beatitudes, I looked up the Greek words and their meanings first to help me understand what Jesus was saying. The Greek word translated as pure is katharos. It means without admixture, separated, purged and therefore clean. (Strong's, 1987). Heart is translated from the word kardia which is defined as the affective center of our being, the inner-self, the intention that establishes who we are. (Strong's, 1987). So pure of heart means that our inner-self, our true self has been flushed out of everything that would make it unclean. A pure heart is forgiven, cleansed by Jesus’ blood and intends to follow Him. It is not an outward ritualistic cleanliness. God doesn’t want the outward show of looking religious. He wants the heart, the desire to follow Him in love.
In Psalm 51 David asked God for a clean heart. He knew the way to that end was the forgiveness of his sins. Verses 1-2 say,
“Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!”
It is only Jesus who can cleanse your heart. It is only His blood that can forgive sins. Hebrews 10:19-22 reads,
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
What is it to see God? 1 John 3:2 says that one day we will see God as He is. It reads,
“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”
And 1 Corinthians 13:12 reads,
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
So it is a promise of our future hope as we live in New Jerusalem in the presence of Jesus. But there is more to the promise. Every promise of eternity is also shadowed for us now in this life. One day we will see God clearly and fully, but right now we know Him incompletely. But we still seek Him. We still want to know Him and we strive know Him more deeply every day. God wants us to know Him. He said so in Hosea 6:6
“For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,
the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”
Knowing God, having a deep relationship with Him was the reason He saved us. (John 17:3). Knowing the Father is done by knowing Jesus Christ. (Colossians 1:15, John 14:6).
So how do we know God more deeply?
I’ve already established that you must have a relationship with Jesus first in order to have a relationship with God. That is done by making Jesus the Master of your life and acknowledge that only He can forgive your sins and reconcile you to God.
God will enter into you as the Holy Spirit when you ask Jesus to save you. The Holy Spirit then begins teaching you and transforming you. He shows you who He is in the innermost way. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says,
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
And 1 Corinthians 2:6-13 reads,
“Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”--
10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.”
The Holy Spirit is God. He reveals His nature to us, He transforms us so that we reveal Him as well. That is one reason we need other Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Each one is indwelled with God and we speak to each other, teach, encourage, exhort, and edify one another through the Spirit.
We read the Bible, His word and learn more about Him. Psalm 119:105 says,
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
The Word of God will do work on us to purify our hearts and help us know Him more. Hebrews 4:12 says,
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
One day, we will see God wholly, but for now we seek Him and get to know Him as best we can in our flesh. If we seek and ask, He will reveal and answer. Deuteronomy 4:29 says,
“But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
And Matthew 7:7-8 reads,
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
Is it the desire of your inner core to know God? Then you will know Him. Has your heart been cleansed by the blood of Jesus? Then you will see God.
Strong's. (1987). 2513. katharos. Retrieved from Biblehub; Strong's Concordance: http://biblehub.com/greek/2513.htm
Strong's. (1987). 2588. kardia. Retrieved from Biblehub; Storng's Concordance: http://biblehub.com/greek/2588.htm