Jesus’ Intro to Discipleship #3 – In a Broken World: Matthew 5:13-16

silhouette of person under blue and purple sky
Photo by Felix Mittermeier on

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 allBelievers 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”?

Leave a Reply