Here in the beginning of Jesus’ historic Sermon (what we’ve called, His “manual on true discipleship”), He paints a clear picture of what our identity is as Christ-followers. In the context of this sermon, imagine that a coin represents disciples of Jesus who have a profound impact on the world and culture around them, and the two sides of that coin…
Side A: A Preserving Influence
Jesus calls His disciples “the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13 NIV). In the first century, salt was primarily used as a preservative for food. Jesus’ audience would have immediately understood its meaning that followers of Jesus are to be a preserving influence in the world. Jesus asks, “But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again” (Matthew 5:13 NIV). He then goes on to say that if salt isn’t salty and it loses its preserving quality, what good is it? Christ followers are meant to be a salty—a preserving influence—in the world.
Side B: A Beacon of Goodness
Jesus calls His disciples “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14 NIV). Christ followers are meant to be a beacon—a light seen by all. Believers are to be positioned and present in lost peoples’ daily contexts so that the on-looking world sees a difference. Jesus says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NIV, emphasis added).
Which is easier for you, Living as “salt” (a preserving influence) or living as “light” (reflecting Jesus in a broken world)?
What keeps you from being “salt” or “light”?