“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

How can this be? 

Where have I been? 

Why did no one tell me this? 

This could change everything!!!

This was the string of thoughts shooting across my mind and heart the day I began “researching” what the Bible says about the Heart.

I was amazed when I found the definitions, or maybe more accurately when they found me, written in The New Unger's Bible Dictionary on the Heart.  In the Hebrew heart is most often translated leb; and in the Greek it is most often kardia.  According to this scholar's resource

The heart is the innermost center of the natural condition of man.

It went on…

The heart is... The center of the bodily life, the reservoir of the entire life-power (Psalm 40:8,10,12);  the center of the rational-spiritual nature of man… when he is strongly determined, he "stands firm in his heart" (1 Cor. 7:37); what is done gladly, willingly, and of set purpose, is done "obedient from the heart" (Rom. 6:17). The heart is the seat of love (I Tim. 1:15) and of hatred (Lev 19:17).

Again, the heart is the center of thought and conception; the heart knows (Deut. 29:4; Prov. 14:10), it understands (Is 44:18, Acts 16:14), and it reflects (Luke 2:19).  The heart is also the center of the feelings and affections; of joy (Isaiah 65:14); of pain (Prov. 25:20, John 16:6).

AND… of all degrees of ill will (Prov. 23:17; James 3:14); of dissatisfaction from anxiety (Prov. 12:25) to despair (Eccl 2:20 kjv); all degrees of fear, from reverential trembling (Jer. 5:24)

It is easy to see, the Heart is command central… both glorious and dangerous.

It went on…

The heart is the origin and the laboratory of all that is good and evil in thoughts, words and deeds (Matt 12:34, Mark 7:21); the rendezvous of evil lusts and passions (Rom 1:24); a good or evil treasure (Luke 6:45); the place where God's natural law is written in us (Rom. 2:15), as well as the law of grace (Is 51:17, Jer 31:33); the seat of conscience (Heb.10:22, 1 Jn 3:19-21), the field of the seed of the divine word (Matt 13:19, Luke 8:15).  It is the dwelling place of Christ in us (Eph.3:17); of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 1:22); of God's peace (Col. 3:15); the receptacle of the love of God (Rom. 5:5); the closet of secret communion with God (Eph. 5:19).

The heart is the center of the entire man, the very hearth of life's impulse.

Jesus taught often of the heart and especially in his sharing of parables.  In the Sermon on the Mount, He is after more than a "principled or dutiful life", more than a life that simply manages itself by “keeping the law”.  A life lived this way will be a life that expresses the belief that our performance is the key to gaining favor with God rather than a wholeheart. In the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:1-12) Jesus says,

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

In their New Testament commentary on The Gospel of Matthew, Walvoord and Zuck state this passage means literally, happy are those who are clean on the inside from sin through faith in God’s provision. We are transformed at our core and our hearts, the core of us, is made clean and holy. A few verses later in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes it clear that it is the heart He is after. He wants his audience to see the heart as the source of their sin-behavior, sin-attitudes and sin-choices and the very place that He came to heal and restore because if the heart and its condition is all those things on the one side of the ledger…then when made over and made new, it is the source of godliness and holiness, identity and mission on the other!

The following are several other passages to highlight from Jesus’ teaching about the heart.

"for where your treasure is there will your heart be also"

Matthew 6:21

"the good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart…for out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks"

Luke 6:45

"but the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a good crop"

Luke 8:15

"For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them."

Matthew 13:15

Lastly Jesus says in John 14:1 and again in 27,

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, trust also in me… Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Jesus was very concerned with the inside of a man, the heart and how it is referred to in Vines Expository Dictionary, the heart is to be seen as the seat of moral nature, spiritual life, grief, desires, affections, perceptions, thoughts, understanding, reasoning powers, imagination, intentions, purposes, will and faith.20

It is true!!!  This changes Everything!!!