This little light of mine. . .

Introduction and Text Background

It is a foregone conclusion by many people that saying the “sinners prayer” automatically makes them Christians. Don’t get me wrong I am not about to advocate for faith through works! I however see that true faith is evidenced by a radical change in one’s whole manner of being and behaviour. This month we will look at the teachings of Jesus on serious Christian witness as displayed in a very familiar passage. I am convinced that many of us do not really understand this very familiar passage.

The text is drawn from the sermon on the mount: one of Jesus’ greatest teaching. It comes right after the blessed attitudes. This is where Jesus explains the real meaning of being His disciple. What He explains is the exact opposite of what the world would call a blessed life. I mean you can hardly call one blessed when he/she is poor, always mourning, hungry and thirsty, meek, persecuted and hated. Jesus explains clearly that being His disciple means a radical shift from the popular culture. In our text then He continues to explain that when these counter-cultural values are ingrained in us then we don’t need to call attention to ourselves we can simply transform others with our very lives.

  1. Salty No More??? Verse 13

Some years back I bought what I was told was natural salt for livestock! It really looked like ordinary soil to me! But be encouraged that it worked wonders, especially in goats, I bought myself 300 kilos of it! As it turned out when I gave it to my goats, they would not even lick it. They simply smelt it and walked away! I finally got enough courage to taste it, but it was simply soiled with no hint of salt in it. It was however very good for the pathway so I spread it on the path to my house and we trampled it under foot.

⁃ Jesus reminds us here that we have an identity as the salt of the earth. We are to dissolve into the community and only be known to be present by our taste! It is noteworthy that only we Christians can be the salt of the community we live in. I also observe that He is not saying that sometimes we can be salt and other times something else. He says we are always the salt of the earth. We transform others through the influence of our lives! Sometimes I think we miss this point and think that we transform others through our words only! The way we live our lives matters a lot. I wish we would reduce the noise and become true followers of Christ as the salt of the earth.

⁃ Salt that has lost its saltiness is useless. In other words, after the salt cannot taste like salt anymore then it has lost its definition. We can no longer call it salt. In the same way, believers who won’t act as Christ would have them act, are no longer (or were never) believers! The way to become true salt is to read the entire sermon on the mount and critically evaluate ourselves by that mirror. We are only called Christians if we are truly following Christ.

⁃ How can saltless salt be made salty again? It is impossible. The only solution to this problem is to throw out the salt on the street and trample it on foot. I hear people asking for the voice of the Church in certain matters, not realizing that it is not the voice we need but the “saltiness.” If we are really salt of the earth we will not need to announce our presence; it will be noticed! We also do not need positions of influence to change our society. We simply need to be ourselves. Sometimes the only thing that distinguished believers from nonbelievers is the attendance of Church service. In this time when church buildings are closed, some Christians will definitely lose their definition. Because they are not “salt” they will be “thrown out” and trampled under foot. This means people will see the worthlessness of their confessions and will disregard them.

The questions we must ask ourselves today and in this week are: do we recognize our role as salt of the earth? Are we really salty about the definition of the sermon on the mount? What is the worth of our witness?