August 26, 2020

Matthew 5
Salt and Light vv. 13-16 – Part 2

Looking over to his right, seeing the town of Safat on the mountainside, he says his followers will be as conspicuous in the world as a city built on a hill. Their light will shine. Their influence will permeate like salt. They will become critical players on the world stage. Really?

Yes, really. History has proven Jesus’ words true. And, apart from a bit of Constatine here and there, Jesus’ followers have not impacted the world through money or power. Rather, their influence has been that of distinctiveness, not conformity. They have been champions of counter-culture, the ultimate expression being the eschatological “Kingdom of Heaven”. Unwordly vision begets unworldly action. And, God is glorified.

But, Jesus warns them to stay salty and well lit. No room for shrinking violets. And, no doubt he foresaw imprisonment and cruel death for many of them. This old world has a way of pushing back.

So, before shifting to Jesus’ words about “fulfilling the law”, a short summary of the preceding words:
1. We are blessed (beatitudes vv.1-12)
2. We serve (salt and light vv. 13-16a)
3. God is glorified (v.16b)