"Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God" Matthew 5:8

We were practising prophecy on one another at cell group, and one of our members received this scripture for me.

I've always struggled with the Beatitudes because I've never really been sure whether they should be interpreted as commandments, exhortations or statements of fact. In many ways they seem unreal, over-spiritual, confusing.

As for pure in heart, well that's definitely a work in progress.

So, I've been thinking, praying and researching this for several days trying to see what Jesus meant by it and how it applies to me.

"Blessed" means a "blessing on" or "God's favour is on."  The word "blessed" makes me think of some guru who has overcome all the problems of daily living and now exits on some other plane. Sometimes we confuse it with good luck or a vague sense of being well off. But really Jesus is saying that God has a special regard for those whose hearts are pure.

"Pure in heart" in English suggests 100% sin free. But actually it means something more like simplicity, singleness of purpose, lacking in secret selfish agendas. I think of Nathanael. "When Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him, he said of him, 'Here is truly an Israelite, in whom there is no deceit!" (John 1:47). Other translations use the word guile here.

There is no suggestion of sinlessness here, just a singleness of purpose, a "What you see is what you get" lifestyle.

Here is the awesome part. It is those people, who are open and transparent, accepting of others as they are, who get to see God.  This is not in the future when we die, for everyone sees God then. No, this is saying it's these down to earth people who sincerely love God who experience Him, who get the revelations, who learn to worship Him and receive His love. Wow- what a promise!

If you want these things, the key lies in learning to be open and transparent, losing all selfish ambitions and just following Jesus in simplicity,