Summary: This sermon deals with God wanting others to look at us, because we have been called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
Who Is Watching Me?
Have you ever had the feeling you were being watched, even though nobody appeared to be around? Well today, we are on more tapes and videos than many of us ever imagined. When we go into the bank, we are on video camera. When we go into the supermarket or department stores, somebody is often watching us. Those beautiful domes in the ceiling often contain little cameras, that send our clear images back into a room where a security guard is sitting. Even when we are in the church building, there are cameras that pick up what we are doing.
The good thing about being watched, and knowing that you are being watched is that it makes it a lot easier to say no to temptation. In our New Testament reading, two believers got into serious trouble because they thought nobody could see what they were doing. In essence they had agreed to lie to the church about the size of their offering so that other people would think they were committed to the ministry of the church than they actually were.
Ananais and Saphira were married, and they planned together to lie about this money. They knew they were keeping some of it for themselves, but they boldy proclaimed, “We are giving you the whole amount.” Unfortunately for them, they forgot not only did they have to look side to side, they had to look up as well. For God was also watching them. God did the unthinkable thing, and told on them. Both of them dropped dead one after the other, when God told the apostle Peter what they had done. We would probably all be better Christians, if God exposed what we did as quickly as He told on Annais and Saphira.
Today we will be continuing our study of the Sermon On The Mount, and discover the role that others watching should have in our lives. Jesus tells us in verse 13, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”
Jesus calls us salt. I have to confess that when I think of salt, the first image that comes to mind, is sprinkling some of it on some good fried collard greens. Now Jesus did not have collard greens in mind when he said this, but the principle is there. One thing salt does to collards is to penetrate them and make them taste just a lit bit better. The salt is very different from the collards, and is a very small portion in relationship to the collards, yet all the collards on the plate are positively affected by that little salt. When we become a disciple of Jesus Christ, we ought to make this world taste better, because Jesus said we are the salt. As salt, we are to be distinct from the world so that it easy for others to say, that one does not belong to us.
There are so many things that can go wrong in a person’s life that this world leaves them feeling bitter and sour. Everybody that we see carries some hurt, or some pain in their lives, and this world just tastes bad at times. We have the power to change the flavor of their lives, just as the salt changed the flavor of the collards. God gave us an awesome commandment when He said in Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another.” Have you ever had someone do an act of kindness to you that really made your day?
As believers, one of our jobs in being salt is to go into a tough situation, penetrate it and be kind. We are to season that situation so that the flavor of it tastes better. A good home, a good family, a good marriage, and a good church is made up of people who are committed to doing acts of kindness and being compassionate to one another. Kindness will catch us off guard, and allow us to rejoice even in the midst of our suffering. Few things will bleed a marriage quicker of its life, than if the husband and wife stop being kind to each other. The tragedy is that we will often be kinder to strangers than we will to those who live with us day in and day out. Yet the call of the gospel is to always begin to love with those closest around us.
When Jesus tells us we are the salt of the world, He is in part holding us somewhat responsible for the kind of world we live in. Another feature of salt is that it preserves things. During Jesus’ time, no refrigerators ever broke down, because there were no refrigerators invented. If you wanted to preserve meat, and keep it from going rotten, you would put it into salt. The salt would keep it from decaying and spoiling. When we become serious about following Christ, and others know it, our mere presence will keep a situation from going into the gutter. People will not say some types of things in our presence. They will not do certain things in our presence. A salt filled life will bring about the respect of others. As salt, we are to preserve the truth of God in our society. We cannot go along and just accept what everybody is doing.