“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16, NKJV)
I’d like to present to you a mini-5-point sermon based on the above passage. The five points are broken down as follows:
I. Who we are, part A (Matthew 5:13a)
“You are the salt of the earth”. Here, Jesus says that we are the salt of the earth. As you know, salt has two main effects: (1) it acts as a taste enhancer, and (2) it acts as a preservative. A question we could ask here is, are our lives acting as taste enhancers to those around us? Are they blessed by our presence? Secondly, are we acting as preservatives in society? For example, if someone gets up and shouts ‘abortion on demand’, are we THERE and READY to say, ‘rights for the unborn, on demand!’? Are we putting this into practice?
II. What can happen if we become tainted (Matthew 5:13b)
“But if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” Here, Jesus is giving us a warning. If we do not act as both the taste enhancer and preservatives of society that the Lord has called us to be, we are in danger of being “trampled underfoot by men.” As an example, remember that in 66AD, Jerusalem was “trampled underfoot by men.” Why? Jesus prophesied that this would take place, because the nation of Israel did not heed their Messiah (Deliverer). That is, they did not listen to the words of Jesus, and they did not do what Jesus asked them to do. I believe that we also need to take this warning seriously and do our part, each separately, and corporately, as a church body, as well! Do your part and get involved, before it is too late!
III. Who we are, part B (Matthew 5:14a)
“You are the light of the world.” Here, Jesus uses another expression. He says, we are the light of the world. We are those who people look to as their guide. You may not realize it, but it’s true. As you go about your business as a Christian who KNOWS where he or she is going (to heaven, that is, when you die), people see that confidence that you have. And they know that they themselves don’t have it! Do you think that your testimony is going unnoticed? It is not! You are a source of inspiration and direction for a great many people, so don’t waver in your steadfast confidence in the Savior!
IV. The inconsistency of not shining our lights (Matthew 5:14b-15)
“A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” Here Jesus is showing us how inconsistent it is to live the life of a Christian without “shining our lights”. That is, if we don’t provide a visible demonstration of our witness to others around us, who also need the Savior, then we are being utterly inconsistent. After all, Jesus is saying, people don’t light a lamp and then put it under a basket, do they? Neither should we!
V. Our mandate (Matthew 5:16)
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Here, Jesus tells us plainly “how we are to go about it”. It’s simple. Let people see you in such a way that it brings glory to God! Notice how much liberty God gives you in this command. He doesn’t say, “You have to always be talking about Jesus.” He doesn’t say, “You always have to give to the poor.” He doesn’t say, “You always have to be signing praises to my name.” Rather, he gives us a great deal of freedom to do what is best at any given time. Ask God today, “How can I glorify you in such a way that others around me will be brought closer to You?” May the Lord bless you as you do!