Parables of Salt and Light
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 underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
(Mathew 5:13-16, NIV)
It is no coincidence that Jesus’ first parable following the Beatitudes is that of salt. Salt holds historical significance in Jewish history and was widely used for a variety of purposes in Jesus’ day. Salt was used to preserve meat and add flavor to food. The Beatitudes describe the ideal disciple. They should influence, add flavor and enrich the world around them, as salt does to food. The ideal disciple preserves the way of God, slows down the moral decay of society.
This leads us to Lot and Abraham. When Lot and Abraham decided to part ways to keep the peace, Lot was given his choice of land. He chose the attractive area, which contained cities, immoral, decaying cities. It did not take long for Lot to move from his tents into the cities with his family. Lot and his family were not salty. They failed to uphold the way of God. Upon fleeing destruction and death, Lot’s wife was unable to refrain from turning to look back once more, an indication of where her heart truly lay. She was turned into a pillar of salt.
Jesus then uses another parable, that of light to describe how His disciples are to interact in the world. Perhaps to us today, this parable is a little easier to understand. As disciples and followers of Christ, we are not to hide. We are to be used for God’s glory. Our faith in Him should not be hidden. It should be something all can see. When we turn on the lights in a room, we can see the dust, the dirt, the scuff marks, and the stains. We can see what needs cleaning. As lights for Christ, we shine lights on areas of society that need cleaning, areas that are opposed to God. Christians are not to adhere to the whims of the world. We are to stand strong in the light of the Lord and lead others to Him.
The Parables of Salt and Light. Jesus used parables to teach. Parables were easy to remember and were designed to make people think and talk about their meanings. Hopefully, people would also reflect upon their own behaviors and be inspired to change. Reflect upon the Parables of Salt and Light. How are you living for Christ?
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