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July 8, 2011 / Daniel

Matthew 5:13-16, The Vocation of God’s People

Salt and Light - tiles

Image by Tojosan via Flickr

We are looking at Matthew 5:13-16 this week in Sunday School.   This is Jesus’ introduction to his interpretation/redefinition of the OT Law (5:21-48).

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt is diluted, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.   You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.   Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

  • The salt brings flavor to a tasteless world.
  • The salt brings preservation in a  decaying world.
  • The light brings illumination to a dark world.

In other words, we are called to be different.  To represent God to a fallen world.   Imitatio dei.  This is an extension of the vocation of Israel in the OT.  In Lev. 19:1, God says, ” You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” Jesus says, “Be perfect, because your Heavenly Father is perfect (Matt 5:48).

But there is a warning.

  • Salt can be diluted.
  • Light can be hidden.
If we blend in with a pagan world, then we become worthless.   If we retreat from a hostile world, then our witness is hidden.   Don’t contribute to the decay.  Represent your God. His kingdom is coming.  How do we do this?  With good works.  Actions that glorify our God.   Represent God by seeking first his righteousness.  Righteousness is doing what’s right for the right reasons.   Not to glorify ourselves, but to please God.   God’s righteousness doesn’t come from a heart of pride.  His righteousness comes from a heart of faith.


Leave a Comment
  1. loopyloo305 / Jul 18 2011 5:01 pm

    Thank you for the link. It is a wonderful article, I will repost it also, if you do not mind!

  2. Daniel / Jul 18 2011 5:10 pm

    Sure thing. Thanks for visiting.


  1. Matthew 5:13-16, The Vocation of God’s People (via Anchor for the Soul) | My Blog
  2. Some Insights From Matthew 5 « Reflection

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