We come to another familiar text this week in our lectionary reading. Moving forward with the Sermon on the Mount, we will study Jesus’ description of his followers impact on their world. He uses two familiar images to describe their influence.
The first image is salt. Jesus tells them,
(Matthew 5:13 NIV) “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
We often think of modern day salt shakers, but in the first century salt served a broader purpose. It was used to purify, to preserve, to enhance. We will talk about the ways that Jesus calls us to be salt in our world.
Secondly, he tells us that we are light.
(Matthew 5:14–16 NIV) “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
You might remember Jesus referring to himself as the light of the world in John’s Gospel.
(John 8:12 NIV) When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Jesus assures us that we will carry on His mission of bringing light to this dark world.
As we study this text, we are challenged to examine the way we interact with our world. Whether we are teachers, employees, employers, neighbors, family members, students, workers, coaches or athletes (the list could go on and on), we are called to be salt and light. Join us on Sunday as we explore Matthew 5:13-16 together.