Saturday, October 08, 2016
Fresh Studies in Matthew: Matthew 5:8
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Are these cause-effect, or effect-cause?
Pure in heart: That implies, I think, self-awareness to keep one’s heart with all diligence (Proverbs 4:13). I suppose one could be pure in heart because of innocence, but none of us lives in innocence. Is this what we think about people and issues and what motivates us, or is it the absence of evil knowledge? Since Jesus was aware of men’s heart and saw evil and because one would have to live in isolation to be truly innocent as humans, the latter seem unlikely.
These verses interconnect with one another, so mercy and the other virtues are relevant. Pureness of heart may mean that we expect the best of others, as I Corinthians 13 says of love. And of course motives are the default answer for the meaning of purity. Our motives can be so muddied and muddled. Why do w do what we do? Why am I typing up these blog posts on a Saturday morning in October? Is is possible to do service with not hint of self-glorification? (Self-gratification is a different matter, since not all self-gratification is necessarily bad.)
Without all this psycho-pseudo-spiritual babble, what did Jesus mean as a Jew? Pure means not mixed with anything. Refer to Psalm 73:1. Sufficient to say that pureness of heart allows one to worship and follow and obey God. How? Partially, confession, self-awareness, and removal of input that impedes purity.
I work with media scholars who are very interesting to talk with. One teaches her students that they are constantly bombarded with media images that stay subconsciously with them. I know that is true for me.
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