Being the salt and light

The teachings of Jesus

(Mat 5:13-16 NIV)  "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 by men. {14} "You are the light of the world. A city 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 men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

(John 3:19-20 NIV)  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. {20} Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

Properties of salt
Makes people thirsty

Bars serve salty nuts free of charge so that people will get thirsty and drink more.

As the salt of the earth, do we make people thirsty for God? Are we living a lifestyle to make people want to have God?

Christians have many opportunities to show that they are different. For example, when people wrong us, the natural reaction is to get angry. But if we show that we can forgive and forget, people will want to know how to do it.

It is natural to worry when things don’t go right. But if Christians can exhibit peace even during turbulent times, it will cause people to want to have that as well.

Gives taste

(Col 4:6 NIV)  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

This verse gives us a clue that Jesus used the metaphor of salt because it has something to do with salt adding taste.

As Christians we have to show others that life is indeed full of taste. Did Jesus not promise that a Christian would live life abundantly?

(John 10:10 NIV)  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Do we show others that life is full of meaning? That we really live life to impact others positively, helping the less fortunate, etc.

Do we show others that life is full of joy? Christians can show others that we can have joy despite difficult circumstances.

Prevents decay

(Mark 9:50 NIV)  "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other."

We don’t use salt for preservation anymore, but before the days of the refrigerator, salt was widely used to prevent food from spoiling. Certain meats could be preserved for long periods of time if they were carefully packed in salt.

Jesus instructed us to have salt in ourselves so that it can stop the decay of our character. If not, our individual discrepancies will cause us to strive with one another.

When we become the salt of the earth, we have to be the agent preventing the decay of the world. This means that the way a Christian lives should be different.

The world is going into decay. Media is dwelling more and more into the occult. Ten years ago, we would see an occasion movie on the occult. Now even many TV serials are featuring the occult. We have Buffy the vampire slayer, Dark Angel, X files, etc. Are we Christians part of this decay or are we agents to combat the decay? Do we speak up against the sins of society?

Properties of light
Reveals

(Luke 8:16-17 NIV)  "No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. {17} For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.

(Psa 119:105 NIV)  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

The revealing properties of light work well with the properties of salt. After salt creates the thirst, light reveals to them how to satisfy that thirst.

It is not enough to make people hungry for God if we do not have the boldness to tell them directly the way to God. Some people find this intrusive but there is really no other way. We need to present the message of salvation, although we need to do it tactfully.

(Rom 10:14 NIV)  How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

Not meant to be hidden

(Luke 8:16 NIV)  "No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.

Jesus used the metaphor of light also because people understand that light is not meant to be concealed. This means that Christians should not leave their lives in such a way that people do not see the light. Do not notice that they are Christians.

Do the people in your workplace know that you are a Christian? If not, your light may be hidden from them and needs to be revealed.