Summary: Jesus affirms his disciples by sharing that they are the salt of the World. I. Like Salt we are to be Stable and Consistent II. Like salt we are to be Essential and Indispensible III. Jesus wants us to be Salt that is bursting with Spiritual flavor
Theme: Jesus Salt!
Proposition: Jesus affirms and encourages his disciples by sharing the Good News that they are the salt of the World. I. Like Salt we are to be Stable and Consistent II. Like salt we are to be Essential and Indispensible III. Jesus wants us to be Salt that is bursting with Flavor
Grace and peace from God our Father and from Jesus Christ, His Son who came to take away the sin of the world!
This morning, I would like for us to look at a passage of scripture that we find in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount as recorded by St. Matthew. In chapter five, Matthew begins by telling us that Jesus wanted some quality time alone with his disciples. So, Jesus leads them up on a high mountain to get away from all the hustle and bustle of the crowds. What Jesus has to say to them is/was of the highest importance and he did not want them to be distracted by a great deal of noise. Jesus was wanting them to understand what it meant to be a Christ follower.
That is what we discover as we read Matthew chapters five through seven. Matthew shares with us this beautiful collection of Jesus' teachings, principles and virtues that make up what it means to follow Jesus. This morning, if you have ever wondered what it means to be a disciple of Jesus then I would encourage you to take some time to read the Sermon on the Mount.
However, let me also add a word of caution. Please don't attempt to fully understand and assimilate all of the Sermon on the Mount in one or two sittings. You will discover that it cannot be done and then you will be discourage. What Matthew has provided for us is enough material to last our life time. There is just so much truth, so many spiritual gems and so much of the LORD in these passages. When he wrote his book on the Sermon on the Mount, Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones was compelled to use over 300 pages in his attempt to share its riches. Father Richard Rohr writing recently on the Sermon isn't quite as verbose but even he could not condense it to less than 200 pages.
There is just so much here to read, to meditate on and to soak up The passage I would like for us to look at this morning is the one that we find after the Beatitudes. Now, if you have read our Lord's Beatitudes or have heard them then you know this morning that you could spend a whole week just looking at, studying and understanding them. As you read them you begin to see how Jesus desires for us as His followers to have a whole new vocabulary, a whole new vision and a whole new value and virtue system. He invites us to understand the true meaning of having a life blessed by His Heavenly Father. He invites us to understand the depth, the breath and the width of God's Kingdom. It's all rather amazing!
I would like for us focus our attention on Matthew 5:13 -16. In this section our Lord uses a couple of wonderful little designations or symbols to help us understand what it means to be His disciple. He uses these symbols to reveal a part of what He sees as their identity and character. Both of these symbols (salt and light) are very expressive and underneath them is the foundational thought that they never exist for themselves. Salt does not exist for itself and light does not exist for itself. Both of these symbols speak of reaching out and of being a service to others and to our world at large. Pliny the Elder, a great Roman scholar and writer around the time of Jesus said this, "For the whole body nothing is more beneficial than salt and sun." (Natural History 31:102). It is with that same attitude that Jesus wants us to see ourselves as His salt and light. He wants us to understand that in the Kingdom of God and its global mission we are necessary, indispensible and beneficial.
Sadly, we don't have enough time to adequately look at both symbols in the depth that they deserve. Therefore let's for a few moments direct our attention to the first symbol - that of SALT. Let's allow the Holy Spirit to open up our hearts and minds this morning and share with us how we are the Salt of the Earth and what that exactly means today.
I. Like Salt we are to be Stable and Consistent
One of the primary problems that still affect the Body of Christ today is that of being stable and consistent. Historically, we in the Church have suffered from this problem all the way back to St. Peter, St. Thomas and the rest of those early disciples. In our every changing world we in the Church have made the mistake of being reactive instead of just being Christ. Instead of merely being in what I will call Salt mode we have all too often been in a reactionary mode. At times we have worried more about what the world thinks of us than in us simply following the will and directions of our LORD.