Blessed Are the Pure in Heart
Purity marks all cultures in their different ways. Sociologists tell us that every tribe or group develops its own expectations regarding social mores and behavior. In speaking of purity, neither Jesus nor the Bible is charting into strange or unfamiliar territory. But the way in which Jesus and the whole biblical witness unpack and commend the call to purity nonetheless proves startling and distinctive. We do well to ask how the words of Matthew 5:8 not only parallel other moralities but also how they break the mold and attest the singular beauty of the gospel. This beatitude, like the others, not only affirms a moral posture or character trait but also relates it rather directly to a particular gift. In this case, the “pure in heart” are those who “shall see God.” We will consider two distinctive elements that speak of the pathway and the prize attested.