You are the salt of the earth.
The disciple is the salt of the earth. The disciple of Christ is created to bring goodness (flavour) into the world around them just as salt brings flavour to food.
What do we do at school when our friends are swearing and the conversations are not what we are comfortable with? Join in? Stay silent? Give a better perspective?
Or you are at work and your boss tells you to be ‘flexible with the truth’ so that sales targets can be reached?
Or perhaps you are in home group and people begin criticising the Church or individuals they know – do you join in?
But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?
I am sure there is a warning here for the Christian to be living in a godly manner rather than purely holding to doctrinal truths. The person that does not live as Jesus has taught (in the beatitudes as well as in other passages of scripture) loses their credibility as an advocate for Jesus. The Sermon on the Mount is often referred to as ‘the ethics of the Kingdom’, yet Jesus is saying here that ethical belief is useless unless it is actively followed.
It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
The person that does not live out Kingdom ethics us truly next to useless in the kingdom. Biblical belief is not enough…………. The person who claims to be a Christian but who does not follow Christ’s example in practice is of little use to God. But they are also not going to be respected in the world – they will be seen for what they really are – religious hypocrites. No one likes the person who claims to hold to something and lives another way – belief and action must work together to show that God’s way is the best way to live. The Christian who does not do this will find themselves being ‘trampled’ in their faith, and unable to defend themselves or their faith in Christ. They are useless to God and useless to the world.
“You are the light of the world.
Jesus describes us a second time – you are the light of the world. Light is extremely powerful – it dispels the darkness. It helps us know what way to move safely. It removes fear of the unknown. It lights up any space it can fill. It can be seen from a distance. It is bold. It is not hindered.
Jesus also called himself “the light of the world” (John 8:12) – he wants us to be like him!!
A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
A city has numerous lights. In Jesus’ day a city was normally set on a hill. The lights would have made the city visible from all around – it was impossible to hide. When I hear about the blackouts in the second world war I am amazed that London attempted to blot out every ounce of light – it was a necessary task, but a very difficult one. We are not to be ‘blackout’ disciples, we are meant to be “let the light out” disciples!! The light of Christ’s teaching and life is to shine out of our lives. Let the light shine!!
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.
We would not hide a city. Neither would we hide a lamp. What’s the point in being a Christian if we are not wanting to let other people know about it? Let the light shine!!
Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
Houses in Christ’s era normally had only one room – therefore a light would be seen by everyone in the room. It was places in a stand and everybody could benefit from it. Light was a blessing to them. The torch would burn brightly – we are to be bright for God. We are to be confident in letting our light shine.
Why is it that so many followers of Jesus are ashamed of the Gospel? Why are we found to be ashamed of Christ? Why are we apologetic about knowing the living God who gave us the very breath we breathe? We have relationship with our creator! What a wonderful thing to be confident in. Our lack of confidence can only come when we are not confident in the one with whom we relate. How are we relating to God? We need to live close to Jesus and his words if we are to be salt and light. Don’t be like Peter who followed Jesus from a distance during the Passion weekend – Let the light shine!!
In the same way, let your light shine before men,
Just as a city shines and can be seen – Let the light shine!!
Just as a torch in a Jewish home 2000 years ago brought light to all – Let the light shine!!
that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Here is what the whole thing is about – we are to be salt and light in our world (our school; our workplace; with friends, family and strangers) so that others will we how we live our lives and also praise God our Father in heaven. Our lifestyle (wholesome conversations; right actions; wise decisions; etc.) should be drawing others around us into the place where they also will want to praise God and live for him. Our lives are to be a witness for God! Let your saltiness season the world around you and let your light shine before all humanity.