“….Blessed are the merciful … Blessed are the pure in heart …” (Matthew5:7&8)
Jesus begins His greatest discourse with a “checkup from the neck up.” He teaches eight beattitudes that can make His disciples salt and light and His answer to what is wrong with this crazy world. These eight attitudes come in pairs. The third pair is to be merciful with a pure heart.
One scholar writes these blessed attitudes are like climbing a mountain. The first pair takes us halfway up the mountain and the second pair takes us to the top of the mountain. The third pair takes us half way down the other side of the mountain.
The profound simplicity of Jesus is asking the questions “When people are filled with righteousness that takes them to the top of the mountain what kind of people are they? Are they Bible experts who throw the book at people?” No! They are filled with mercy (which is unconditional love) and while they love in this way they are pure in heart.
To be pure in heart is only understood when we research the Greek word used here for pure. It is the word from which we get our word to be catheterized. It means that as disciples are merciful they have a catharsis through which everything that is not the unconditional love of Christ is removed from their hearts.
If you want to be one of the solutions of Jesus in this world hunger and thirst for what is right and you will find that love is right and right is love. Be a conduit of God’s love and you will become the salt and light of Jesus.
Dick Woodward, 13 April 2010