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Reading through the Gospels 54

Matthew 5:13-16

Matthew 5:13-16 SALT AND LIGHT

Jesus is speaking, continuing his Sermon on the Mount. If salt loses it's taste, the flavor cannot be restored and the salt must be thrown out and trampled as no good for anything. There is no value to flavorless salt.  There is no value to Christians who do not flavor the world with God's goodness.  Salt is put on food to bring out the flavor of that food and to effect it in a good way. Christians need to be in contact with the world to effect it in a good way.  If Christians look like the rest of the world, what worth is that faith? Am I a flavorful person? A little flavor makes life more exciting to live rather than the doldrums of life.


Jesus uses the word "you" as he calls me "salt" and "light." It is not a call "to be," but rather something I already "am."  It is God's grace that makes me salty and not of my own.


There is a phrase, "worth one's salt" which means someone is good enough at their job to be worth or deserving of their pay. It indicates "a measurement of worth." Some believe that this expression initiated when Roman soldiers were paid in salt as it was a high commodity used to preserve meat and many other functions. If the soldiers were not paid in salt, they were at least paid enough to purchase the valuable salt. This phrase is similar to "worth one's weight in gold."


Jesus continues with an analogy that Christians are the light of the world, like a city on a hill that is so bright it cannot be hidden.  This makes me think of when I'm driving down Highway 3 in Illinois and I know I am nearing home when I see the lights of my home city from miles across the Mississippi River.  There is no hiding the city at night with all the lights.


Jesus continues with an analogy that Christians are like a lit lamp that is not put under a basket, but rather on a stand to light the whole house.  Christians should stand out from the others in this world. "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine!"


Christians are to let their light shine so others can see their good deeds instead of hiding their good deeds in private, not to be prideful, but so that God gets the credit and people can see His glory.  My light is merely a reflection of Christ, like a light that shines on a mirror that reflects back out into the world.


Salt must penetrate the food for it to work just as Christians must penetrate society with Christian actions.  Likewise, light penetrates the darkness.  The good that we do penetrates through the dark sinful world.


I often would rather be humble and let only God see my good deeds, but that's not what the Bible tells me today.


Copyright Cheryl Rutledge-Brennecke
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