In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus shocks His listeners with the Beatitudes and then launches into the metaphor of salt and light to help his listeners understand how they're called to interact with the world. “Salt and Light” Matthew 5:13-16 Today’s lesson comes right after, what are called the Beatitudes—or what we talked about last Sunday—it’s the beginning of Jesus’ great big famous Sermon on the Mount. If the Sermon on the Mount is where we learn to be disciples before the watching world, as I argued in my introduction last week, then salt and light are prime examples of this. Thanks for sermon 2. As a result, millions suffer because they continue to conform to the world and its destructive ways. I read an article on Friday by Krish Kandiah, who holds a senior position with the Evangelical Alliance. Matthew 5:13-16. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Kandiah reminds me in his article of a story I have heard several times before. (Verse 13), I am sure you have heard several preachers expound on why Jesus describes as salt, and what our saltiness is meant to achieve. It was always hard to get hold of him by phone or email, because he was so busy. Why did he only receive prayer for the one hour a week he had contact with Christian children, but no prayer at all for the forty hours a week he devoted to contact with non-church children. In the same way, let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." So let’s pause and consider the problems here. We don’t need to earn those because Christ has done all that is necessary that we would be forgiven. And this is really what it is all about, isn’t it? The Beatitudes are the blessings that Jesus bestows upon us because we’re His disciples. It means we’ve neglecting our God given duties as Christians. But the salt that we season the world with and the light that we shine in the darkness is more important and more powerful. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? Post was not sent - check your email addresses! She was surprised when I suggested that his church work might not be the most important thing he did. Matthew 5:13-20 If you have your Bibles, I would invite you to turn with me to Daniel, chapter 2. The Salt Of The Earth. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.” Like a city set on a hill, we want the people of this world to focus on us as members of a place of refuge. Salt is a unique chemical compound. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. One is to season, and the other is to preserve. By evening he would drive around the area, preaching the Gospel. Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth” and “You are the light of the world.” He doesn’t say that you will be the salt or that you were the light, He says that you are the salt and you are the light. Four world-renowned communicators who bring life-changing messages to... Jul 19, 2020. You are the only light of the world!” In the midst of … It is a dark, drab world obsessed with and immersed in sin, and it desperately needs the salt and light that is Christ Jesus. You aren’t just family, friends, or neighbors, you are saints, children of God, to whom He has entrusted the Salt and the Light of Christ Jesus. We are part of a world that needs to see the love of Christ demonstrated and explained. Turn in your Bible with me to the 5 th chapter of Matthew for our study tonight. By way of transition to talking secondly about light, let me tell you about a circuit steward from one of my previous appointments. A seemingly impossible riddle that just might bring me greater enlightenment […] Our witness is about both our words and our deeds. And that’s where we come in. The test of a church is whether the local community would miss it if it shut. Now, light is an external quality that enables one to see. We are called to be the salt and light of the world. We have neighbours whom we can love in the name of Christ. 1 2 as a pastor he was taught how to make people busy working in the churches. In short, cutting some ties from the institutional church and simplifying some of the ways we do church in order to release ourselves to spend more time blessing people in our communities with the love of God in word and deed is absolutely critical to our sharing in the mission of God. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. And sometimes it’s hard. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Salt and Light Epiphany 5A 2/5/2017 All Saints, Brookline Isaiah 58.1-9a Psalm 112.1-9 I Corinthians 2.1-12 Matthew 5.13-20 Salt and Light “If salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored?” At first glance, this question reminds me of a Zen koan. But it might well be part of their journey to faith in Christ themselves. Wasn’t Jesus right? He calls us to stop treating the church as our one-stop provider of religious services and our social life, and to get our hands dirty in the world. Print This Post. February 5, 2017. In the same way, we don’t hide the light that is in us. And that, positively, is Jesus’ point when he goes on to describe Christians as the light of the world: You are the light of the world. Let's examine the implications of the image of salt and light. But I’m going to say more, because this is so important. While there is an award winning Biographical Documentary Film titled ‘Salt of the Earth’ according to the Meriam-Webster Dictionary it’s a phrase used to refer to people of good character. The man broke down in tears. Indeed, Pam. When Christians decide to be salt and light, the world pays close attention to what we say and do. He’s decided he’s going to give up his post as a school governor in order to concentrate on the more important things – like his church work.”. Jesus says that in fact, we are blessed, all of us, and we are called to be a blessing to others – to all of the world. ( Log Out / Salt and light. Often such people are ones who want to see the world changed for the better. He asked, what do churches have to do in order to reach the missing young adults in their twenties and thirties? The Value of Salt Salt gives flavor Makes foods come “alive” Salt preserves Prevents spoilage Can you make it useful again? In particular, he tells a story about a Christian doctor who went out to one of these nations – I think it was the Dominican Republic. What we say and do is seen by the world. The world is a dark and fallen place that desperately needs to be changed. No matter what our station in life, no matter our age, our gender, or our vocation, we do all that we do so that others will glorify God and come to faith in Christ who saves them from sin and eternal death. Followers of Jesus, commit today to live as salt and light. Ye are the light of the world. And fortunately, it can have both because you are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. You see, even though Jesus was just beginning His public ministry, He had already attracted quite a following. (Verse 13b). It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. Matthew 5:13 (NLT) "You are the salt of the earth. Summary: "Salt and Light" is a part of the Sermon on the Mount series. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it,” said John of Jesus’ coming into the world. There’s nothing else like it. One of my favourite examples of this was told by the American pastor and sociologist Tony Campolo. That doctor set up a surgery in a poor village. We’re blessed because Christ enables us to forgive those who have hurt us. In the final beatitude, Jesus described the attitude the world would often display towards the citizens of the kingdom (10-12) 3. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. It is when we depart from the Spirit-led lifestyle of genuine discipleship that the distinctions between ourselves and the rest of the world become blurred and our testimony is hindered. In both cases, both the salt and the light, there is to be an impact. People listened. Common table salt is in abundance in this world and is readily available for us to use to our heart’s content. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. When I reflect on the voluntary work I do in our community not directly related to our church – namely, working at an op shop (fundraising for our nursing home) and tutoring an African refugee – I can show God’s love to the people I’m working with, inadequate as I am. You are forgiven for hiding your lamp. We’re blessed because we come before God humbly confessing our sins. ( Log Out / It is our witness, whether good or bad. You are forgiven. I suggest that one thing implied here is that we so live lives of love and concern for the people in our world that it leads to questions and opportunities, so that then we can tell people the Gospel of the Saviour and Lord in whom we believe. Pastor John Pavlovitz wrote an article on why he is a Christian – or as he puts it, why I am still a Christian. We can’t help it, we just do it. We love our family and friends and that’s why we share the Gospel with them. We do all that we do, we shine our lights and we season the world with our salt because we know that it is all about what Christ has done for this fallen world – starting with us! You may go through university, leave home, start a job, begin paying a mortgage, get married, have children and so on. We do good works, we help those around us, we share the love of Christ not so others say what good people we are, but so that they would say how good God is. Today we often take these two things for granted. Are we not fools when we give no priority to influencing the world for good as the salt of the earth? Others interpret salt as a metaphor for wisdom, and therefore Christians provide acute moral insight to help society. Before refrigeration salt was used to preserve food, especially meat. Jesus was implying we ought to be a different kind of people. He just says we are the salt of the earth, full stop. A New Lens. Indeed, we institutionalise such an approach. Let me say it simply: When we are salt and light, the world listens to us. We’re blessed with the righteousness of Christ because through faith we hunger and thirst for it. And while we might think we affirm the importance of being salt and light, I want to say this morning that we pay lip service to it, and the way we run our churches often undermines this essential Christian task. Jesus says that salt without the saltiness, disciples who don’t influence the world for good, is, no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. And as Christians we’re different than others. In a manner of speaking, this world is unseasoned and dark. We are called to be the salt and light of the world. Salt and Light. And make no mistake, the world needs to be salted and have the light of Christ shined on it. No: Jesus calls us to see the church as the people of God gathering to edify one another and strengthen each other for witness in the world. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” (Matthew 5:10-11). Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. When we aren’t, they don’t. And although some will mock, many will ‘glorify [our] Father in heaven.’ That might simply be we’ve done a good bit of PR for the faith. This is the Word of the Lord from the Gospel of Matthew. We sin, we fail to shine our lights, and we don’t sprinkle our salt, so every day we need to remember that Christ is for us too. It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” We salt and light the world because we’re His disciples, so what does it mean if we don’t salt the earth or shine our light? Click here for more messages from The Sermon on the Mount series. You are the salt of the earth. But just like popcorn isn’t good with salt, and just like a parking lot is dangerous without lights, our society isn’t any good without salt or light. We shine our light in a darkened world so that others will know the salvation that we know, that they will also know that love of God. Not only was he a circuit steward, his day job was a responsible managerial one for an international shipping company and he was also a governor at his daughter’s school. Another positive image of salt is to see it as fertiliser, stimulating the growth of righteousness, justice and spirituality in the world. what do churches have to do in order to reach the missing young adults in their twenties and thirties, London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. So what might we do about it? When Christians decide to be salt and light, the world pays close attention to what we say and do. It transports us from the darkness of this world into the light that is Jesus Christ. Salt and light are natural in life; they’re needed and welcomed. Phil preached about salt and light from Matthew 5 for our series “The Vision of Jesus.” He explained why Jesus might have picked these two metaphors from among other choices to describe His people. Unfortunately [says Kandiah] what 20-30s often hear in church is not encouragement to take huge steps in their faith, but to take on huge responsibilities within the church. Now keep in mind that just like you can overdo the salt, you can be too hard on people. With a touch of grudging admiration, a local Communist Party official said, “He has earned the right to speak.”. Loving the Family, 1 John 3 2. In our Gospel for this morning, Jesus mentions two things that don’t really seem to go together; salt and light. We let it shine so that it brings others to God. (Verses 14-16). Over the years, he has had a special concern for some of the impoverished nations in the Caribbean, such as Haïti and the Dominican Republic. What this means is what we’ve already talked about; we naturally salt the earth and light the world. We can see this as a wonderful opportunity for witness in the world. It makes absolutely no sense to light a lamp and then hide it under a bucket because the lamp is supposed to bring light to the whole house. Don’t we want our witness to attract other people to Jesus and his Father? (Verse 13b). Jesus doesn’t ascribe to any of them. Now the peace which surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. We don’t shine our light to be saved, rather we shine our lights because we are saved. He speaks of a teacher who was being prayed for in church, in support of his rôle in the congregation teaching Sunday School. Dave Faulkner. It’s not because we are holier or better than everyone else, it’s just because we’ve been changed through faith in Christ. These two examples Jesus uses may seem insignificant now, but in the first century salt and light was very valuable. By day he gave himself to providing medical care for people who otherwise would not be able to access it. It is a dark, drab world obsessed with and immersed in sin, and it desperately needs the salt and light … Last week we heard the Beatitudes. Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? Because we’re saved, we shine our light and we salt the earth as we live out our daily vocations. Last week we commented on the context of the book of Daniel. Part 3. 1. ( Log Out / Amen, Copyright © 2021 Emmanuel Lutheran Church. It isn’t that we speak about our faith and don’t match it with our actions. Can you imagine living in a world that doesn’t have salt or light? He is concerned about his disciples not being the salt of the earth, not influencing society for good – whatever that entails: But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? February 20, 2005. Musings of an evangelical Methodist minister. And when we think that our social lives should revolve around the church, we cut ourselves off from the world where we are meant to shine our light, by reflecting Christ. Just think for a moment about the sin that you see around you daily. Light shines for hours every day and when the sun goes down, we simply flip a switch to light our homes. 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