I am a Jesus pusher!!! “Blessed are the pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8). The conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees focused on the issue of purity. Jesus elevated purity to a higher level. In the Sermon on the Mount He cried, “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). How could anyone be more righteous than the legalistic Pharisee? It could only take place in “purity of the heart.” Jesus proceeds by listing external activities of the law; He calls for the attitude of the heart to match each external deed. Refraining from murder must be replaced by the purity of love (not hating). Not participating in immoral activities must be superseded by purity of thought. The acts of separation must be overcome with purity of forgiveness. Swearing or oaths must be replaced inwardly with pure honesty. Controlled revenge must give way to pure love for your enemies.
The conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees raged over the defilement laws and activities. Jesus always returned to the high standard of a pure heart. He said, “Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man” (Matthew 15:17-18). He painted a vivid picture of the Pharisees when he said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness” (Matthew 23:27). He was calling them to the standard of a pure heart. This can only happen in Jesus. I am a Jesus pusher!!!