"THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT"
Salt And Light (Mt 5:13-16)
1. In "The Beatitudes", the CHARACTER AND BLESSEDNESS of the
citizens were described
2. In the final beatitude, Jesus described the attitude the world
would often display towards the citizens of the kingdom Vs 10-12
3. Jesus now proceeds to describe the opposite: The influence of
the kingdom upon the world.
4. He does this by using two metaphors: "salt" & "light"
I. "YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH" - Mt 5:13
A. SALT HAS SEVERAL CHARACTERISTICS...
1. It is white, enhances flavor, preserves, etc.
2. Based on the context, it is probably salt's ability to
enhance flavor to which Jesus refers in his illustration
a. Notice: "...but if the salt loses its flavor..."
b. Salt has the ability to give flavor to that which is
c. Job mentioned this ability in Job 6:6
B. THROUGH THE METAPHOR OF "SALT"...
1. Jesus illustrates that the relationship of the kingdom's
citizens to the world is one of:
a. Making the world palatable (bearable) to God, and possibly
to others as well
b. Perhaps making it possible for God to continue to bear
with this world and its "distasteful" wickedness
2. The idea that the "righteous" few can help God tolerate
the many wicked is illustrated:
a. In Abraham's conversation with God over Sodom -
b. In God's dealing with Jerusalem - Jer 5:1
[From God's point of view, the citizens of the kingdom give the
world what good "flavor" it has!]
C. JESUS GOES ON TO WARN AGAINST LOSING OUR FLAVORING ABILITY!
1. With pure salt...
a. It actually never loses its flavor
b. But when mixed with impurities, salt can lose its ability
to enhance flavor
2. We too might lose our ability to be a "flavoring agent" for
a. If we allow "impurities" into our lives - 1 Co 15:33
b. Therefore, we need to keep ourselves from sin - Ep 5:3-7
D. IF WE LOSE OUR "FLAVOR"...
1. How are we going to be "seasoned"? (Impurities prevent us
from being useful.)
2. We will be thrown out!
a. Is Jesus teaching the possibility of losing our
b. He certainly does elsewhere! - Mt 13:40-43; Re 3:15-16
[First we are told of the relationship of the citizens of the kingdom to the world
FROM GOD'S POINT OF VIEW: "You are the salt of the earth."
Continuing, we find Jesus teaching the citizens of the kingdom their
PRIMARY FUNCTION in the world...]
II. "YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD" - Mt 5:14-16
A. USED BY GOD TO TRANSMIT HIS GLORY TO THE WORLD!
1. They are "lights" in a dark world - Ph 2:14-15
2. Their purpose: to proclaim the praises of God! -
1 Pe 2:9; Ep 5:8b-9
B. THEY ARE NOT A "LIGHT" IN AND OF THEMSELVES...
1. Only in the Lord - Ep 5:8a
2. Christ is the "true" or "original" light - Jn 8:12
3. Citizens of the kingdom are simply "luminaries" reflecting
The One True Light, just as the moon reflects the sun
- 2 Co 4:6
C. CITIZENS OF THE KINGDOM HAVE A TWO-FOLD RESPONSIBILITY AS
"THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD"...
1. They must be VISIBLE
a. This is implied by Jesus in His use of a "city"
and a "lampstand" as metaphors
b. From this we understand Jesus expects His followers to
be SEEN by the world - e.g., Jn 13:35; Jn 17:21
2. They must RADIATE (give light)
a. This principle is conveyed by the idea of the lamp
1) Designed to SHINE on a lampstand
2) Not put under a basket
b. This principle is explicitly stated in "let your light SO
SHINE before men"
3. The purpose of such VISIBLE RADIATION: so men may GLORIFY
THE FATHER in heaven - e.g., 1 Pe 2:11-12; 2 Co 9:12-13
1. Why be concerned with being "the salt of the earth" and "the light
of the world"?
2. Because of the One Who is described as "YOUR FATHER WHO IS IN
a. This expression should remind us that God is both:
1) TENDER (a term of tenderness)
2) MAJESTIC (He is "in heaven")
b. Such a majestic being who is willing to be our Father makes Him:
1) Worthy to be pleased!
2) Worthy to be praised!
3. We who claim to be the children of God, citizens of the kingdom,
a. Pleasing to our Father (by being "the salt of the earth")?
b. Praising Him (by being the "light of the world")?
If not, then may the prayer of David in Ps 51:10-15 become our own:
10 Create in me a clean heart, O
God; and renew a right spirit within
11 Cast me not away from thy
presence; and take not thy holy
spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy
salvation; and uphold me [with thy]
13 [Then] will I teach
transgressors thy ways; and sinners
shall be converted unto thee.
14 Deliver me from
bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of
my salvation: [and] my tongue shall
sing aloud of thy righteousness.
15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and
my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
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