Summary: Jesus said that we are the salt of the earth and the light for the world. He compared our relationship to the world with salt and light. What does this mean? Why does Jesus compare us to salt and light? What is the significance related to this?

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We are busy with a series on the Sermon on the Mount.

Last week we discussed the beatitudes and we looked at the characteristics of a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven.

We then proceeded to look at the benefits of being a citizen of the Kingdom of heaven.

This week we look at the next part of the sermon, namely our relationship to the world.

For that we read the following:


Matthew 5:13-16 GW

(13) "You are salt for the earth. But if salt loses its taste, how will it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people.

(14) "You are light for the world. A city cannot be hidden when it is located on a hill.

(15) No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket. Instead, everyone who lights a lamp puts it on a lamp stand. Then its light shines on everyone in the house.

(16) In the same way let your light shine in front of people. Then they will see the good that you do and praise your Father in heaven.


In our scripture this morning Jesus compared us, the citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, to two things.

He compares us to:

• Salt and

• Light

He explains, in this piece of scripture, what our relationship to the world should look like.

The question now stands as follows:

Why did Jesus compare our relationship with the world to salt and light?

Why did he use those two items?

What is the significance of salt and light that Jesus would use it?

Let’s look at this more in depth.

We will start with salt.

Jesus said that:


The confusion

When we read the following part of scripture:

(13) "You are salt for the earth. But if salt loses its taste, how will it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people.

It might lead to some confusion.

You see, the importance that salt had in the time of Jesus have significantly changed in our time.

Some of the ways that it was used also changed.

Salt, in Jesus’ time, was a precious commodity.

In fact, it was so significant that, as some suggested, Roman soldiers were sometimes paid in salt.

This is not entirely correct.

Let me explain.

You have heard the expression: He is worth his salt.

This expression means that a person is worth his or her pay, his salary.

The word “salary” actually derives from the Latin word “salarium”

“Sal” is the Latin word for salt.

Now there is some debate over the origin of the word “salarium” but most scholars agrees that it was the money that the Roman soldiers were allowed for to purchase salt.

How this worked was that the soldiers were required to buy their own food, weapons, etc.

These costs would be deducted from their wages in advanced, but there would be some money left to allow them to buy salt.

So they weren’t actually paid in salt, but paid money for salt.

When we look at the Greeks we see that they considered salt to be divine.

And when we look at Moses’ Law we read the following in:

Leviticus 2:13 GW

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