Summary: A sermon for the 5th Sunday after Epiphany on providing salt and letting the light of Christ shine.
Matthew 5: 13 – 16 / Let It Shine
Intro: A minister was making a wooden trellis to support a climbing vine. As he was pounding away, he noticed a little boy who was watching him. The youngster didn’t say a word, so the preacher kept on working, thinking the las 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,” the little boy replied. “I’m just waiting to hear what a preacher says when he hits his thumb with a hammer.”*
I. VS. 13 & 14 – “You ARE the salt of the earth . . . You ARE the light of the world.
A. Jesus clearly says, “YOU ARE:” not, you could be or you might be or some of you are. The statement comes right out and says that if you want to be a follower of Christ Jesus you ARE SALT AND LIGHT.
B. Charles Barkley the NBA basketball player once said, “I’m a basketball player. I didn’t ask to be anyone’s role model and I don’t need that added responsibility.” But, as an NBA star, Barkley didn’t have the option to choose whether or not he wanted to be a role model. That decision had already been made for him when he signed a contract to play in the NBA.
C. The same is true for those of us who call ourselves Christians. Once we make that decision to follow Christ, people are watching. This passage about salt and light is one of those commands from God that isn’t optional.
II. If we believe that God commands us to BE salt and light, we need to take a look at what that means.
A. Perhaps you have been told by your doctor to limit your salt intake for health reasons. Adding too much salt to your food can cause health issues and make the food taste bad. But this passage doesn’t talk about eating salt; it says that we ARE salt.
B. Salt is used to enhance the flavor in things. If you put too much salt on food, it ruins it. If we ARE salt we are charged to enhance our lives and the lives of others by living our lives with purpose, growing in our relationship with God and one another.
C. Salt is no good if it never leaves the salt shaker, it is only a decoration on our table. The same is true of our faith in Christ. If it is never shared or used, it is worthless.
III. The passage also says, YOU ARE LIGHT. Light is a form of energy. It removes darkness, reveals danger, shows the path, and illuminates blemishes.
A. The first thing to remember is that light requires a power source. Without a steady flow of electricity the light bulbs don’t give off light. They have to be plugged into the source and turned on.
B. The same is true for us as believers. We must be plugged into the source and turned on to reveal the light of Christ, the source of light for a dark world.
C. Jesus says we are not just light; we ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. We are to dispel darkness to show the way to others. Light is visible. It is seen. It works openly not in our closet or “under a bushel” but openly casting the light of Christ in the world.
Conclu: The story is told of a man who had been made responsible for warning trains that a bridge down the tracks had been damaged by waving a lamp. One night a train came, the man showed his lamp but the train went right into the ditch. The man was taken to court where a judge asked the man, “Were you on duty on the night the train had the accident?” The man answered, “Yes.” “Did you have you lamp with you?” Again the answer was, “Yes.” “Did you wave your lamp at the train?” Again the man answered, “Yes.” The man was not held responsible. Later as the man went home he told his friend, “I am glad the judge didn’t ask me if my lamp was on.”** You have to turn it on to let your light shine!!!!!
*taken from the sermon, “Impacting People for the Future” by Randy Bennett on SermonCentral.com.
**taken from the sermon, “Salt and Light Witnessing” by Jose Marin on SermonCentral.com.