Don’t you love being with someone who sees the best in you? A friend once told me that people acted nice with my late husband, because that was how he saw them; but they didn’t act like that when he wasn’t around.
A pure heart sees good in others.
I’ve always remembered that statement about my husband because it’s true, and I think the reason it is true is because he had a pure heart. He loved Jesus and he loved people through the eyes of his Master.
As our Lord and Master stands on the mountainside today, he’s looking out into the crowd and seeing the people who are looking back at him with that same love that comes from an unblemished heart. It doesn’t mean they’ve never sinned, but it means their heart is undivided in focus. Remember what he said about such people:
I wonder if you have the same thought as you read that line? Let me take you back to the story of a couple of brothers. Things had not gone well with them because of the curse of parental favoritism. The sibling rivalry led to a stolen birthright and blessing, and years of separation. After he prospered and had many sons, God told Jacob to return to the land of his fathers. The trickster obeyed, though God knew he still had some things to literally wrestle over. Having overcome, Israel prepared to meet his brother Esau, knowing he did not deserve forgiveness or kindness.
The humbled and now pure-in-heart Jacob actually bowed seven times to the ground as his brother approached from a distance. The years had changed Esau too; the grudge forgotten. That’s when Jacob pressed him to accept his gifts:
For indeed, I have seen your face, and it is like seeing God’s face, since you have accepted me.Genesis 10:33
Jacob had a lot of growing to do before he could have said that of his brother, but once his heart was right with the Lord, it allowed him to see in his brother the goodness of God.
The goodness of others is a way God reveals himself, but we can’t see it without his love filling our hearts.
I wonder if Jesus was thinking of that encounter as he spoke blessing over the people that day. I’m fairly confident he was thinking of the priestly blessing from the book of Numbers:
“May the Lord bless you and protect you; may the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; may the Lord look with favor on you and give you peace.”Number 6:24-26
To see God’s face in creation and in others is a blessing and gift. Remember at creation, he spoke over all he had made and said, “it is good.” When our hearts are hardened, divided, sullied by sin, we can’t see anything good around us. Relationships get torn apart and the beauty of nature is hidden from our sight.
It’s so easy to recognize the one who sees good, because they see God. Ask the Lord what needs to be cleansed from your heart today so you too may know his blessing.
Grace and Peace