The Beatitudes describe traits that are the heart of the Christian way of life. They are characteristics we should bury deep within our souls. If we are living by the Beatitudes, then we will no longer be like the chameleon who easily blends in with its surroundings. Pursuit of living a godly lifestyle will result in standing out from those who live by the world’s standards.
Living a God-pleasing lifestyle will inevitably bring some hardship. Being different in a godly way will bring persecution.
In some areas of the world, following Jesus carries the death penalty. For those of us who live in the Western world, persecution might result in some form of harassment at school or work, or being bullied.
How does persecution bring blessing? Why would Jesus honor those who experience this pain in the eighth Beatitude? Who will undergo persecution and what is His promise to those who undergo this “honor”?
I, for one, want to see God someday. But is it even possible to truly be pure in heart? Can anyone consistently hold to this high standard? What exactly does Jesus mean in His sixth beatitude, “Blessed are the pure in heart”?
The Greek word for “pure” in Matthew 5:8 is katharos. It means to be “clean, blameless, unstained from guilt.” Interestingly, the word can refer specifically to that which is purified by fire or by pruning.