Righteousness and Love
“….Blessed are the merciful … Blessed are the pure in heart …” (Matthew 5:7&8)
Jesus begins His greatest discourse with a “check up from the neck up.” He teaches eight attitudes that can make His disciple salt and light, and one of His solutions and answers to what is wrong with this crazy world. These eight attitudes come in pairs. The third pair as quoted above is to be merciful with a pure heart.
One scholar writes that 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 one is filled with righteousness that takes them to the top of the mountain what kind of person 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 that is used here for pure. It is the word from which we get our word to be catheterized. It means that as this disciple is merciful they have a catharsis through which everything that is not the unconditional love of Christ is removed from their heart.
If you want to be one of the solutions and answers of Jesus in this world today hunger and thirst for what is right and you will find that love is right and right is love. Being a conduit of that love will make you the salt and light of Jesus.