“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
– Matthew 5:13-16 (Jesus speaking)
Yesterday, we read Jesus’ opening words to His Sermon on the Mount: the Beatitudes. In them, Jesus described the attitudes and behaviors that would be blessed in His kingdom – the kingdom of God.
In this next section of the sermon, Jesus speaks personally to the disciples who had come to Him to hear His teaching. Therefore, what He says here applies to disciples – which you and I seek to be by devoting ourselves to His teaching day by day.
First, Jesus tells His disciples that they are like salt in that the taste is everything. That is, if grains of salt lose their taste, they are no better than grains of sand and might as well be thrown out.
Next, Jesus tells His disciples they are the light of the world. You see the broader picture He is painting? The world is a dark and dirty place. By learning Jesus’ ways, we become light to the surrounding world, and salt instead of just another nondescript part of the landscape.
Our light is a reflection of His light, for He says of Himself:
…”I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
– John 8:12
When we follow Jesus, His light shines on us. The world cannot see Jesus, but they can see us. Therefore, Jesus tells us to let our light shine in such a way that people’s attention is directed to Him and not to us.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, I recognize that it does me no good to call myself a Christian. What matters is that I am truly a disciple of Yours. Help me see how to better reflect Your light in my world today…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)