I am forever changed by grief, but grief is not the full measure of my life in Christ. “GLEANINGS from Claudia — The Abiding Life” explores this life attached to the One True Vine.
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.”
This morning as I read Matthew chapter 5 I was drawn to the statement of Jesus “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” I found myself wondering “Where will they see God?”; “When will they see God?”; “How will they see God?” and “How in the world can I ever be that ‘pure’?”
I decided to do a word study on the Greek word translated ‘pure’. Pure is the word Katharos, an adjective, which means clean, clear, pure. The word is used 27 times throughout the New Testament and seems to generally mean simply ‘clean’ as in ‘clean linen’ or a ‘clean heart’. There is another use of the word that really struck me. In Titus 1:15-16 I saw “To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.” I so distinctly remember when I first surrendered my life to Jesus and decided to follow Him one of the first evidences of the presence of the Holy Spirit in me was that He cleaned up my impure mind. I was a 17 year old young lady with a mind that went readily to double entendres. No matter the innocence of statements made in my hearing, my mind would impute some impure connotation and I would snicker and smirk in response. I blush to think of this now. Within weeks of coming to Christ my mind was cleansed and the innocent words of others retained their innocence …. all things became pure.
When I saw the word Katharos, I remembered an earlier study I did on a similar word. In John 15:2 the word translated ‘prune’ is Kathairo, a verb, which means to cleanse, to prune, to expiate. Katharos, pure, is the root word for the verb Kathairo, to prune. In John 15:2 Jesus uses the very ‘common to his disciples’ analogy of a vineyard, fruit, and the vinedresser’s work to explain what His Father does in our lives. What I experienced at 17 as a new believer, was that pruning work of the Father cleansing me and taking away the ‘suckers’ that would sap my young life in Him of strength and power. He cleansed my mind and gave me the ability to hear communications in a pure manner. Interestingly there is debate among Bible scholars about the translation of the word airo that results in the phrase ‘cuts off every branch’ early in John 15:2. Many Bible scholars think that word should instead be translated ‘lifts up’. This process is common to vineyards where a young branch is lifted up off the ground out of the dirt and pests. It is then pruned and given the optimum situation so that fruit can result. I have sensed the Holy Spirit doing that over and over for me. He encourages my growth, being patient with me, lifting and pruning so that fruit-bearing maturity can come. How thankful I am that He didn’t call me to Himself only to throw me away when He saw the impurities of my life. How thankful I am that instead He is the one who creates a pure heart in me so that I can see Him!
“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”John 15:2