Summary: Jesus calls us to be an influence in this world through a comparison to salt in the sermon on the mount.
Intro. I heard of a minister who was making a wooden trellis to support a climbing vine. As he was pounding away, he noticed that a little boy was watching him. The youngster didn’t say a word, so the preacher kept on working, thinking the lad would leave. But he didn’t. Pleased at the thought that his work was being admired, the pastor finally said, “Are you trying to pick up some pointers on gardening?” “No,” he replied. “I’m just waiting to hear what a preacher says when he hits his thumb with a hammer.” [Brian Bill, What we are called to be; sermon central ]
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Bill was a drunk, converted at a city mission. Before his conversion he had gained a reputation as a tramp and alcoholic for whom there was no hope. But when he was converted everything changed. He became the most caring person at the mission. He spent all his days there doing whatever needed to be done. There was never anything he was asked to do that he considered beneath him. Whether it was cleaning up vomit left by some alcoholic or scrubbing toilets used by men who left them filthy, Bill did it all with a heart of gratitude. He could be counted on to feed any man who wandered in off the streets and care for his needs when he was unable to care for himself.
One evening after the mission director delivered his evangelistic message to the usual crowd of solemn men with drooped heads, one of them came down to the altar and kneeled to pray, crying out to God to help him change. The repentant drunk kept shouting, "O God make me like Bill! Make me like Bill! Make me like Bill!" The director of the mission leaned over and said, "Wouldn’t it be better if you pray , Make me like Jesus?" After thinking about it for a few seconds, the man looked up and asked, "Is he like Bill?" [sermon central ]
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. Way back in 1936 what people refer to as the grandfather of all self help books was written. The title of the book was, How To Win Friends And Influence People and it was written by Dale Carnegie.
. It seems that the world forgot that the definitive work on influencing people was written close to two thousand years ago.
. Our scripture today is about how we as Christians influence the world.
. Our scripture talks about how we are to preserve the goodness that is found through Jesus Christ.
. Before we read our scripture, let me give you a little history.
. In our text, Jesus is going to use a metaphor. He is going to compare His disciples top salt. As salt had a very important role in Jesus time, so did His disciples and so do we as His disciples today.
In our contemporary society, we may miss the real value of salt. For many of us, it’s just this blue container tucked away in our cupboards. Ancient societies understood the value of salt far better than we do. The Romans believed, for instance, that there was nothing as valuable as salt, except for the sun. The Roman soldiers of Jesus’ day were at times paid with it. In fact, our word “salary” comes from the Latin word “salarium” which referred to the payments to the soldiers with salt.
. In Jesus’ day, when someone was not a very good worker the phrase “not worth his salt” was used. Now you know the rest of the story.
. In our scripture Jesus says that we are salt and light.
Matthew 5 :133“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.
.The first thing I want you to see that Jesus didn’t say that you can become salt or that you should strive to become salt.
. Jesus says that you are The Salt of the world.
. You are to perform the same function in the world that salt does.
. You don’t have a choice if you are my disciple.
. If you are here this morning and have placed your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, you are salt.
. To truly understand this, we need to understand the function of salt.
. The first thing we need to understand about being salt is that we are very valuable.
. Jesus could have used gold or silver or rubies to describe His followers but He didn’t.
. He chose Salt. A very costly thing in those days. The people who were listening to the sermon there on the mountain would have realized that Jesus was telling them that they were a precious commodity.