Matthew 5:13-16 Devotional Commentary

Salt and Light: Devotional Commentary for September 20-26

Matthew 5:13-16 (God's Word Translation)

This is the Word of God. May the Spirit of Truth give us Wisdom and Insight to receive what has been conveyed through His Word by His Inspiration.

And Jesus continued:
5:13 “You are salt for the earth. But if salt loses its taste, how will it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people.

Jesus continues to define the ministerial role of God's children in this world. As noted last week, we are commissioned to bring God's message of peace to this world. We are the Peacemakers. But how do we do that? We don't. God does it through us. He engages us as salt so we could be effective Peacemakers.

Living in this world as God's children puts us in a unique position to impact our communities and the world in uncommon ways. Conducting ourselves as the Blessed of God in Christ, our words and actions serve as the means by which the life-changing savor of the Gospel is spread. We are salt to the world in which we live and serve.

Our presence and services permeate this world with the true flavor of God's eternal Word, even when the world expresses its opposition to the Gospel. Jesus told the Blessed of God that our lives should impact humanity in the same way salt acts upon food. That is, the life and behavior of God's redeemed children should imbue the lives and conduct of fellow men and women with God's Peace and Love.

However, if our influence is not godly, then our ministry is as good as salt that had lost its taste or flavor and is ultimately discarded. It is of no effect. It would eventually reap the scorn of the people to whom the Gospel is preached.

And Jesus continued:
5:14-16
14“You are light for the world. A city cannot be hidden when it is located on a hill.
15No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket. Instead, everyone who lights a lamp puts it on a lamp stand. Then its light shines on everyone in the house.
16In the same way let your light shine in front of people. Then they will see the good that you do and praise your Father in heaven.

As believers, we are not only salt to the world but lights as well. That means, our lives, conducts, and services should reach out into the world with godly attitudes, bringing God's Peace and Joy into the world of troubled human beings. Jesus identifies us as lights to the world because we belong to the One Who is both Light and the Source of Light. This Light cannot be smothered or hidden by any influence or imposition. It is like a city built on a hilltop.

As believers, we continue to live and serve God. Our demeanor and manners should always be characterized by a salt-like and light-like godly qualities mentioned in the Sermon On The Mount, reflecting the Person and Character of Jesus Christ as we minister to the world around us.

Jesus further describes the purpose of our life and service in the context of a most obvious and simple metaphor. He draws a simple conclusion by reiterating the purpose of a lamp. The purpose of a lamp is to provide light to a given area. So, in keeping with its purpose, when one lights a lamp, one puts the lamp on a lampstand so it could effectively illuminate the designated area. One would never light a lamp and shove it under a covering. That defeats the purpose of turning it on in the first place.

Jesus then concludes, as it is with the lamp, so it is with the life of the redeemed child of God. That is, as the light from the lamp illuminates the area within its reach, so should the life and conduct of the disciple of Jesus Christ. If the disciple is truly transformed into a new person in Christ, then the true light of Jesus Christ would be clearly seen by those around us. And then, those who notice the presence of Christ and witness His magnificent work give glory to our Father in heaven.

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Notes/Applications

As noted in last week's meditation, what a glorious future is secured for us as the Blessed of God in Christ. What a high calling is placed upon us as the redeemed of God. Not only are we commissioned to be the messengers of peace and the ambassadors of the Gospel, we are salt and light to the world as well.

Because we are the Blessed of God in Christ, our life and conduct serve as conduit for God's message Touching humanity, the world around us with the savor of the Gospel and the illuminating power of the Truth. If the characteristics of the blessed new life is seen in us, then the very presence of Christ in us shall purvey the salt and the light of the Gospel to those around us who are in despair and darkness. Salt is flavorful and light is visible. Their impact can neither be denied nor ignored.

True to salt, the words we speak and the actions we take must pervade the lives of those around us with the redeeming and preserving power of the Gospel. Our friendship and companionship must offer the sweet flavor of Christ's love and the sparkling joy of the Holy Spirit to those around us. We must selflessly carry the lamp of the Gospel so that Christ's Light might, from within us and through what we say and do, draw the lost to Himself.

Being one of the most evocative phenomena on earth, light is the greatest metaphor that bears witness of who we are in Christ. Light is often used as a warning sign. That is what we are to this world when we renounce darkness and offer redemption through the Gospel. Light is also an attraction. That is what we are when we reflect the beauty of our Lord's Glory. Light serves as a guide to the lost and the wandering. That is what we are when our ministries illuminate the path to salvation by the preaching of the Gospel. When our life is lit by Christ's presence in our own heart, we cannot hide ourselves or our faith in Christ or our fellowship with Him. Light is visible. We are like a city built on a hilltop.

We are certainly admonished not to be unequally yoked with the world because we have nothing eternal in common. However, we are not told to resign from the world. Christ prayed that His Father would preserve us in this world while we serve Him. We are sent into this dark world as witnesses of the Gospel. That means we go as salt and light to the world. And as we continue on in this world as Christians, our life and service would impact those around us.

In both cases, we are the vessels of our Lord's continued presence in this world. We carry around in our person, words, decisions, and actions the light and sweet savor of our Lord's Love and Grace so that the lost might receive the Light of God's redemption. We give what we have received. The Light of the Gospel will continue shining from the hilltop of our transformed lives.

Here at Practical Christianity Foundation we believe that God has mercifully extended His Grace toward us and has given us His living and Holy Word to guide us in our journey in this world. We count it privilege to come alongside you and minister to you through prayer and the sharing of God's living and holy Word. Please contact us if you have any questions concerning your faith and journey as a Christian.

We encourage you to frequently visit our website where you can find weekly devotional readings and helpful blogs.

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Matthew 5:13-16
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