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Matthew 5:13

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. 

Matthew 5:13

This design was inspired by the teachings of Jesus in the famous “sermon on the mount.” Jesus was teaching His disciples what it means to be righteous in this passage. The first 12 verses of the chapter are often called “the beatitudes,” and show how a follower of Christ lives according to a different value system than the rest of the world.

There is a break away from the beatitudes at verse 13, where Christ describes His followers as salt and light. Verse 13 compares the disciples of Christ to being salt, which is only useful if you can taste it. If salt had no taste, it would be no different than sand in your mouth. Sand is for walking on, not eating.

The next few verses compare Christians to being light, which is used to light cities and houses. People do not usually hide lights, and the more light there is, the harder it is to hide. This is meant to be another example with the same point as verse 13.

The point is that followers of Christ are supposed to be different from everything else around them. As a light shining in the darkness, the good works of a follower of Christ should stand out in the dark world, and point people to Jesus. Salt stands out in food. Sometimes it stands out more if it’s missing. Christians are to be so different, that others can taste it. This difference is not meant to be weird or whacky. It’s meant to be a difference of doing what’s right, and of operating out of a different set of values than the rest of the world.

Jesus goes on to teach that the value system of the religious people, and the value system of all the other nations, is not compatible with the value system of the kingdom of God. Outward appearances and temporary sinful pleasures have no place in the value system of God’s eternal kingdom. God cares about true righteousness, about love, mercy, and truth.

All of this actually points us to realize that we fall woefully short of the standard. Jesus said in verse 20, that unless we are more righteous than the most religious people, there is no way we can make it into the kingdom of heaven. At the end of the chapter in verse 48, Christ commands His followers to be “perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” We know that no one is perfect except God.

The good news here is that only Christ is able to fulfill the righteousness of the law (vs. 17-18). He did, and He is the only way we could be made righteous. The disciples didn’t know it yet in this passage, but Christ would eventually die to pay the penalty for sin, and provide a way that by trusting in Him alone, we can be saved. The innumerable benefits include that He gives us His righteousness, and enables us to walk according to His word.

If you’ve been changed, they ought to be able to taste it.

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