Sermon on the Mount - 10
Sermon on the Mount - 10
This sermon was preached to the disciples of Jesus Christ. This group of disciples splintered into two groups: a group of lost disciples of Jesus Christ; and a group of saved disciples of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the sermon’s purpose was to shed light on who were His actual disciples.
- The sermon’s function describes who the disciple of Jesus is from the inside out.
- The beatitudes and other portions of the sermon focuses on the inner man.
- While our current section focuses on the outer man.
- Jesus encourages His disciples in this section to influence their culture. Regardless of how wicked, evil, or immoral a culture is Christians can make an impact. Jesus did not say if everything breaks your way then you can be the salt or light. Instead, He said we are to be salt and light of the world no matter how wicked or immoral our culture is. If we are truly disciples of Jesus Christ then we will be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.”
SALT OF THE EARTH V.13
In the days of Jesus Christ, salt had a couple benefits to society
I am more of a bland eater than a salt eater; however, I know plenty of people who love salt on their food. For these people, salt fixes a multitude of bad dishes. The salt will add a pleasant flavor to a dish. If we are to be the salt of the earth then we must be pleasant people. There is so much anger, partisanship, hatred, polarization, and politicization that goes on in our society. As Christians, we must be a breath of fresh air.
1 Peter 2:12KJV 1900
Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by yourgood works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
The word ‘conversation” means our lifestyle. The word “honest” carries with it the idea of something beautiful. Our lifestyle sends a message to everyone who views it. Our lifestyle must be honest (beautiful) and pleasant if we are to have hope of converting people to Jesus Christ. It is not that our honest lifestyle will yield immediate results. Initially, people may speak evil of us and our lifestyle, as Peter mentions in 1 Peter. However, their culture is rotten to the core. May God help us to provide an alternative taste to the rottenness of their culture, which is the pleasantness of Christianity.
Another thought regarding the pleasantness of Christianity is salt creates a desire for thirst. I served in the U. S. Army and Air Force. Many times, during field exercises we had to eat MRE’s. An MRE is a Meal Ready to Eat. One of the interesting facets of these MRE’s is the saltiness. These MRE’s purposely had high salt content to create thirst so that we would drink a lot of water. The military did not need one of their fighters going down due to dehydration. If we become the salt of the earth, God can use this to create a thirst in the spiritual taste buds of lost people for the Water of Life.
In ancient times salt was used to help preserve the meat from spoiling or corruption. This certainly implies that without the salt spoiling and corruption will exist. Brothers and sisters, we may be the only difference maker in our community from keeping our community from corruption and spoiling. Never forget the reason Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed was because Lot and his family were not the salt of the earth. Those two cities would have been spared destruction if there were only ten righteous people. Lot and his family failed in being the salt preserving those cities.
Our purpose as disciples of Jesus Christ is to be the salt of the earth. If we fail in this by living out our lives through self-passions and not the passions of Jesus then our mission and ministry is good for nothing.
Matthew 5:13KJV 1900
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Salt that lost its purpose would be thrown into the streets for people to walk over. Please God, help us desire fulfilling our purpose as the salt of the earth. Instead of being walked over because we are not serving our purpose as salty Christians, may our lives be salty enough to draw people to the cross!
LIGHT OF THE WORLD
There are two points to be made regarding the Light of the world
Macro is to view something from a large view. We are taking in as much as possible. Jesus says we are the light of the world. Our responsibility in being the light extends beyond our communities and into the world. The idea behind being a city on the hill is to provide light for various villages and cities that are in the valley. Our light must radiate to the world. This is done by sending out missionaries and being a witness for Jesus Christ wherever we are at.
The first church at Jerusalem was tasked with the Great Commission. The Great Commission involved preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole world. Beginning first in Jerusalem and moving outward into Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the world. This local church was great at reaching Jerusalem and Judea but failed miserably in preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to other people groups (Like the Samaritans and Gentiles). They were not fulfilling the Great Commission. As a result, God sent persecution their way to scatter the church. He forced them leave their confines of comfort with the Gospel message. The result was evangelizing the world. Churches were started in Samaria and throughout the Gentile world. We should never wait for God to force our hand in missions.
Not only are we to be the light of the world but we must be the light in our community. I am sure there are churches that invest heavily in reaching the world but nothing is done to reach their community. Jesus said not only are we to be a city on a hill lighting the valleys below us but we must also light the room (very parochial setting) we are in. Never lose sight of the sous in our own community.
Jesus gave the value of living a life that allows people to see the light working through you. He said they will take note of your good works and “glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Today, there is so much disrespect for the name Christian. In part, the reason people have such disrespect is the number of people they know who claim to be a Christian but lives a life no different than theirs.
It is estimated that 151,600 people die every day in the world. This means that nearly two people die every second of the day. Ten people died in the time it took me to write the previous two sentences. I wonder how many of these people died and went into a Christ-less eternity. Better yet, before they died, I wonder how many of these people had a clear presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ through words and actions. God chose the foolishness of preaching to save sinners. We are their only hope of hearing the Gospel message. We must be the salt and light of the world to give people hope.