Summary: Jesus asks us to be both salt AND light to impact the world around us for him. We need to be both, not one or the other. It’s a challenge!
There’s no short-cut to being high quality salt, highly potent; but it is worth it, provided we put that considerable salty potency into use, in close proximity to people. Salt that’s up close, rubbed in, packed around meat or fish will work wonders. Christians like us need to be salty and involved in the lives of people who don’t yet know Christ. If all of our friends are Christians we’ve got a problem – and I know too many Christians who only have Christian friends. I was speaking to a Christian lady from another Church last year and she said, “I’ve got too many friends already and they are all Christians.” Now I don’t know if she meant Facebook but that’s a problem. I spoke to a lady from another Church this week. She said, “I’ve not got lots of friends but they are all Christians. What can I do?” And we discussed inviting a few neighbours around for a cup of tea to get to know them better, creating an opportunity to be salt that is up close, poured out, and sprinkled into the lives of people who don’t yet know Jesus.
Christians make great hospital visitors, school governors, town councillors, and volunteers. Christians make great friends to the lonely, the housebound, widows, single parents and more.
Jesus used many different metaphors and illustrations as to what it means to be his people, to impact our world for Him. So, I long to see us take seriously the call of Jesus to be fishers of men, going into the world making disciples, but I realise we need to know how to do that. Sometimes we hear plenty of theory and not enough practical examples; Yes, I hear the Bible saying, “Go and make disciples”, teach people to follow Jesus; but please tell me how I can do that?
I’ve recently been challenged by the fact that the Bible challenges us to arrange our lives in order to impact people for Christ. Following Jesus every day and in every way is not a personal self-help manual. It is the way to love God and to love our neighbours.
If I live a life of high potency by knowing Jesus will that make Jesus known? If I’m full of salt by knowing Jesus and I immerse myself into the lives of people who don’t yet know him will that make Jesus known? To a degree, yes it will; but Jesus asks us to be both salt and light. Light makes clear that which is hidden. Literally, we are light in this dark world when we shed some light on issues, and especially when we shed light on things that really matter.
In 2 Corinthians 4: 5-6 we’re told that when the message of Christ was first clarified to us God ‘made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ’. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God!
We are light when we communicate clearly the message about Jesus. It is a message that mustn’t be hidden or obscured. Jesus wants us to spiritually illuminate other people.
A few weeks ago I quoted St. Theresa who said that we are now the hands and feet of Jesus in this world. I wanted to add that we are also his mouthpiece to a world that needs to hear about him (Romans 10:14ff).