Matthew 5:13-16 are some of the most famous verses in scripture. The words of Jesus, part of his ‘Sermon on the Mount’
13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavours of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. 14″Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. 15 If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. 16 Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
As a preacher I have included these two attributes many times for all Christians in the room to be ready, willing and able to do.
Be salt. Have flavour. Give life some flavour. Bring out the flavour. Be a great preservative. And all other salt-centred type analogies.
Be light. Shine out for Jesus. Be seen. Don’t hide. Be a light that leads. Be a light for safety. The list of light uses is possibly endless. I think you get the feel of what I am going for here.
Be salt & light. Easy to say. Harder possibly to actually do. What does it really mean anyway?
Jesus spoke these words so maybe the best person to look at for answers when it comes to being salt and light then is probably Jesus. He never asked us to do anything which He wasn’t already doing or going to do.
To be salt and light is to live like Jesus. It is to be Kingdom people. It is to preach the word. To bring a message with a different flavour that is distinct from all the others the world throws out every day. It is to reflect the love of Jesus and thereby bring glory to God through good deeds, acts of kindness and a counter-culture, Kingdom-based way of life.
Jesus is the ‘true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world’. It was a light that needed to shine then through Jesus and now through us as His followers as ‘people loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil’.
Jesus is our role model, our example. For a Christian there is nothing more obvious than to say that. Yet so many Christians are not being salt and light. They are not standing out and being in distinct, at least not in the way Jesus was calling us to. They maybe shining but not necessarily bringing out the best of shines for the one they say they follow.
Let’s choose to begin to be the kind of salt and light Jesus is instructing us to be. Why not begin this Christmas. Don’t compromise on the central message of Jesus this Christmas. While others dismiss or ignore it, we should speak about it. In doing so we will be distinct and stand out for the One we love, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus.