One of my favorite Scripture passages is Matthew 5:13-16. It has captured my imagination for many years! In these verses Jesus says:
“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 underfoot. 14 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Jesus lets us know that we can affect positive change in the world… in the lives of others. In fact, that is a major part of God’s purpose for us.
Salt preserves. It keeps food from spoiling. It adds and brings out flavor in food. It helps to heal wounds and to maintain our body’s internal chemistry. There are a host of other things it does, that we don’t have time and space to cover in this post.
Light illuminates. Light warms. Light sterilizes and can kill germs. Without light, we can’t see the path before us. Light dispels darkness. Light cuts through fog and haze. Light energizes. Light can burn and cut when it’s focused. Different wavelengths of light have a multiplicity of useful and innovative applications. In John 1:9 it says this about Jesus: “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” Jesus is like the sun in all its brilliance. We are like the moon, meant to reflect the Son’s glory.
Jesus equates the power of salt and light to the power we have been given to use our good deeds to impact others for the better. We can use our gifts, talents and abilities in service to daily acts of kindness and truth in order to not only help others have a better life, but more importantly, to point people to our Father in heaven.
These verses are a part of what is called The Beatitudes: a series of teachings Jesus gives which covers Matthew chapters 5 to 7. He teaches so we would know how God desires for us to live. At the core of his teaching is that we don’t have to try and live this way on our own. In fact, we can’t. To live the way God desires for us to live, is only possible WITH GOD. It is only possible when we come into partnership with God… through a relationship with Jesus. Without us relying on Him to lead and sustain us, we will “lose our saltiness and try to hide the light God has given us under a bowl.” Then the people, including ourselves, won’t be pointed in the direction that we need to go.
It is God who gives us the salt and light. He then tells us to put them to work for the betterment of others… all for His glory. What a wonderful calling we have been given. What a great responsibility it is as well: Many are wounded, living unpreserved lives. Many are groping in the darkness trying to find their way to purpose and meaning. Many are dying without knowing that Jesus is the true light. They are entering eternity forever estranged from God. But Christ has called us to live in such a way that those around us would see our example and inquire about the hope we have in Jesus.
You are the salt of the earth… you are the light of the world. Imagine the possibilities… With God, all things that He has called us to do are possible if we just believe and act accordingly!