Summary: We are entrusted with the light of God’s truth, that truth is our Savior Jesus Christ. It behoves us to reach ever higher to come together in ever larger numbers so that the light of our individual candles becomes a beacon that penetrates the darkness
The Salt and Light Shaker
Earlier this week our Adult Bible Study group took a look at how Jesus made reference to salt and light as He cautioned us about our need to stay salty and to uphold the light that illuminates our candles as His followers. We examined in depth how these parables illustrated for us both a personal and corporate call to the Christian and to the Church of Jesus Christ. I was delighted by the insight and wisdom of our group as they shared their take from these parables. Together we discovered the deep sense of responsibility and commitment that Jesus calls us to as those whom He has called out to become the church. (Ecclesia)
These two small parables are for us an alarm for the faithful and for the church in our time. They serve as a call to arms a midnight call alerting us much like that famous ride of the American Patriot Paul Revere who warned of the British arrival buy lighting lanterns in a church steeple “one if by land and two if by sea”. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Revere
Today we read from Matthew’s gospel as he recorded Jesus giving us the Sermon on the Mount – The Beatitudes. Jesus follows this long list of blessings with an admonition by parable which is the focus of our message today. Dr. Spiros Zodhiates comments on this passage in the footnotes of his Hebrew – Greek Key Study Bible that “The first step to blessedness is the realization on one’s spiritual helplessness.” “The progressiveness of blessedness depends upon the fulfilment of the conditions set down in these Beatitudes.”
Blessed are the poor in spirit
Blessed are they that mourn
Blessed are the meek
Blesses are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness
Blessed are the merciful
Blessed are the pure in heart
Blessed are the peacemakers
Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness sake
Blessed are you when persecuted for my sake – Jesus concludes;
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward in heaven”
Source: pg. 1141 Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible KJV World Bible Publishers, Inc. Iowa Falls Iowa 1988 ©Spiros Zodhiates 1984
Dr. Zodhiates points out that Jesus key words that conclude the list of Beatitudes are “For my sake” Matthew 5:11 This dear Saints is the crux of the matter for which we examine these parables today. It is for the sake of Christ and for the Glory of the Father that you and I are lovingly reminded by the Savior to stay salty and to lift the flame of Christ high for all the world to see.
We all know the attributes of salt and light. Salt is a seasoning that stops the rot and preserves food so it can be restored at a later time. A part of a Roman soldier’s wages included a pouch of salt. It’s where we get our phrase “he’s worth his salt”. Source: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Worth%20his%20salt
In this parable Jesus is reminding us to be worthy of our salt to be those who continue to season this world. To be salty is to be spiritually active and alive in a sense the Holy Spirit living in us preserves the world and keeps it from rotting because of sin. What Jesus was reminding His listeners was that they as the recipients of the Beatitudes they are the “Salt of the Earth” The Blessedness comes together in saltiness and light.
How salty have you been lately Christian?
Which Beatitudes have you undertaken lately?
Are you poor in spirit – humble, have you mourned over someone or with someone? Are you meek or proud, do you thirst after righteousness for Christ’s sake? Are you merciful, pure in heart and known as a peacemaker? Have you suffered persecution for the name of Jesus Christ?
Are you salty for the things of God?
To return to my Paul Revere reference, he used two lanterns that night because the invaders were approaching from the sea. It was the use of light that alerted the community to the approaching darkness of the hour.
I must ask you dear ones how dark is the night that we face in our time?
Jesus again is reminding us that we are the keepers of the light. We are not the light we merely possess it and are to burn it from on top of our candles which we are to put on top of a candle stick. Maybe this is why churches incorporated the use of steeples in their architecture? They were first used by Romans as part of their forts.
The higher the light is held the greater the number of those who can see it.
Sadly many Christian churches today have buried the light under a bushel of political correctness in the name of ecumenicalism. We all want to be equally right in our doctrine and theology so we cover the truth of God that is the light of God – Jesus with platitudes and rationalisations concerning His teachings and instructions instead of letting the light of His truth be clearly seen for what it is.