And the common people heard him gladly.
This was said of Jesus, and was a great compliment. It was said, partly, because He used illustrations, which help us understand.
Following the beatitudes, Jesus gives us a couple of illustrations to help us see how we should affect the world around us, if Christ is truly in us in the 8 ways we can be ‘blessed.’ [vv. 1-12]
We are to be like salt that penetrates, and light that radiates.
We are to be separate and different from the world.
2 Cor. 6:17
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…
Separation is not isolation [like a monk], but rather insulation. Jesus said we are in the world, but not of it.
So, don’t be conformed to the world, but rather ‘confront’ the world. We do this by being salt and light.
Are you a salty saint?
Did you know that salt is a miracle? It’s composed of 2 poisons: chloride and sodium. If you ingest either by itself, you’ll die. But put them together and you have common, ordinary salt, and that which used to bring death somehow comes together to bring life, and that’s a miracle!
So it is w/ the Christian life, poisoned by sin, w/ death looming in the shadows, but it’s confronted by the grace of God in His death, and those 2 negatives merge to form a positive redemption!
“It took a miracle to put the stars in place;
It took a miracle to hang the world in space.
But when He saved my soul,
Cleansed and made me whole,
It took a miracle of love and grace!”
So, what does Jesus mean by calling us salt in His illustration?
• Salt irritates. [in a wound]
And Christianity rubs many the wrong way, because it’s irritating to their wounds of sin. We shouldn’t purposefully try to be irritating, but also not surprised when it happens.
• Salt seasons.
My sister loves salt so much, that she may or may not decide to add some food under it sometimes when she’s eating! I’m the opposite. It’s all what you get used to.
But Christians ought to add zest and tang and some good flavor wherever they go. Your workplace should be better because you’re present. You may be the only Christian in your house, but you should be having a positive effect. Kids, your public school needs some salt, and you can be the one!
Everywhere Jesus went on this earth a good spirit followed, and overtook those in attendance, which always grew, and even some had to enter thru the roof!
Some Christians think they have to be bland to be right w/ God, but no, we should be like salt!
• Salt creates thirst.
And our job as Christians is to make others thirsty for God. In John 4 Jesus compared Himself to a drink of living water.
But we won’t create thirst unless we are a salty saint…walking to the beat of a different drum. We also have to be ‘out there’…in other words, not just hiding in here in church, which is the ‘shaker’, but getting the salt out of the shaker, and living it even when it’s not as popular!
Like a zebra in a herd of horses…a salty saint will stand out, and get noticed, and make others long for something different as well.
• Salt cleanses and heals.
Salt in a "Water Softener" cleans the lime deposits out.
And a salty gospel will convict and cleanse people of the deposits of sin.
These things are all true in application, but I believe the primary interpretation to be different:
Jesus is speaking to the original disciples, many of whom were fishermen in the Sea of Galilee. And how did they keep it from spoiling when ready for transport? They would salt it down!
• Salt preserves.
That says something about our society…it is rotting and decaying as there is less and less salt being shaken on it.
Just look at music over the last 50 years. It used to be that Dick Clark’s American Bandstand was considered the music of rebellion. But look at MTV today, and you’ll think Mr. Clark was a s.s. teacher!
Just look at television. 1 cuss word brought people up in arms at the end of Gone With The Wind, but today’s kids cartoons have more than that!
Everyone gasped when the first couple was shown, not in separate beds, but in the same one…oh my! Don’t look at how it is today!
Humanism and evolution say we are getting better and better, but rather we are spiraling downward.
The Bible promises the trend is downward…so, why even try? Because, it’s our duty to stem the tide. We cannot save the world, but we can save one here and one there…our children and g’children, our neighbors, and those our missionaries can reach!
What would the world be like if there were no salty Christians? We don’t have to guess…just read the book of Revelation once the salt is removed! If you think we’re in a wild spiral now, just wait!
For now, we need some salty saints to do what’s right and take a stand at work when the plan is to be ‘shady.’ We need to be salty saints when it comes to the abortion holocaust, pornography, homosexuality and gay marriage, and so much more!
The Bible says: "YE ARE"; Not OUGHT TO BE; Not COULD BE; Not SHOULD BE; Not IT WOULD BE NICE TO BE; But "YE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD"!
Now, what is this losing of the savour? It’s the tang, the zip, it doesn’t mean losing salvation…it’s still salt, but it’s lost it’s influence / testimony. This happens when you stop trying to influence the world and the world starts influencing you!
[School / work / government]
Are you the hammer or the anvil…giving the blows or taking them?
You are either warming the world, or the world is making you cold!
‘trodden under foot of men’ - Many Christians have become objects of ridicule, a laughingstock, because they prove to not be genuine.
Remember Lot? He was saved, but not living it. He was supposed to be salt, but he lost his savour, and instead of influencing he was influenced, and couldn’t even win his own family over to the truth in the end! They laughed at him. God spared that city for a long time for his sake, but eventually the sky fell, tho’ Lot was delivered.
Remember Lot’s wife? The Bible says to! She was so influenced that she looked back, and became salt herself! And that pillar stands to this day as a reminder of the fact that we are salt, but we need to hold onto that savour, and get it out of the shaker!