Summary: One of the great illustrations used by the greatest preacher as He gave the greatest sermon of all time. Link included to formatted text, handout, and PowerPoint Template.
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.