- Sermon Notes
Intro: It’s who you are.
After completing the beatitudes, Jesus points those who have come to follow and listen to Him toward who they are in the world. Becoming a follower of Jesus meant that there would be inward change, but also, an outward reflection in the world as their lives would be a reflection of Jesus.
Jesus begins explaining the true nature of the calling of a disciple, of His followers. It is not only about the blessings that would come from the inward life devoted to Jesus, but about an opportunity to be who He says we are in the world.
Read: Matthew 5:13-16
- Those listening to Jesus speak were being told that they were the salt of the earth, and the light of world. Two vital components of their world and our world today. Both salt, and light serve an essential purpose on this earth. By calling His followers salt and light, Jesus is declaring that His disciples are essential to the world.
- There a way in which Jesus calls His followers to walk, a “who” that He calls them to be. Understanding this is important in our lives as well. Not only has He come to make a way for you and for me, but, He points us toward inward change and then outward, toward making a difference in the world. There is a way He wants us to be in this world.
- He doesn’t challenge you to become salt and light, rather, by the very nature of your being His, He tells you who you are.
I. You Are Essential and Distinct
- Jesus points His disciples toward their function in the world by saying, “you are the salt of the earth.”
- Salt is valuable and essential, but it has its necessary effect only if it is distinct, yet fully involved.
Illus. Essential salts.
- Certainly, it is valuable and essential. In the time Jesus gave this message, and even today.
- Jesus calls His disciples “the salt of the earth.” There are specific ways in which salt is used that correlate with our opportunity as Christians in this world.
Salt Preserves: Jesus is speaking in a time when freezers and refrigerators were not what preserved. Meat was heavily salted and then transported many miles in the hot desert.
Salt Flavors: If used properly and to taste, salt can bring out the great flavor of what it is added to.
Salt Stimulates Thirst: Once you eat something salty, you generally want to follow that something with a tall glass of water!
- Salt is best when it is mixed in, as an additive ingredient. But even when it is mixed in, it can be tasted.
Illus. Which one has the salt?
- We are mixed into the world. It is important that we keep our value, just like salt does.And in our case, that we hold onto our values.
- Jesus calls you and I the salt of earth. With that in mind, we then are those in this world who bring about preservation, flavor and those who stimulate thirst.
- Are you creating a thirst or a distaste by what you are saying and how you are living?
Illus. Furniture shopping.
- In this world, we have the opportunity to bring about the preservation of God’s influence. To help create a thirst, rather than a distaste.
Colossians 4:5-6, Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of each opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
- Paul is telling us to walk in wisdom toward those who are outside. That our Christian lives must be lived out and we should make the most of each opportunity.
- Approach our world with wisdom because when Jesus is attached to your life, your words, what you say (and write) reflect Him.
- He continues, let your speech be filled with grace, as though seasoned with salt.
Illus. Season your life.
- Jesus continued, “if salt has become tasteless, how can it become salty again? It is no good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men (Vs. 13).”
- This is salt that has lost its strength and flavor. It has lost what is essential to its use and what makes it most valuable.
- Salt has influence on what it is added to. Without it’s saltiness, without the attributes that make it useful, what can it be used for?
- Rather than saying, “you’ve no use on the earth,” He calls His followers something distinct, yet essential.
- Jesus continues by associating another essential distinction on the earth, He calls His disciples the light of the world (Vs. 14).
- In this declaration, Jesus gives a compliment, and an incredible responsibility.
A.Let your light shine bright
- The light of the world is a title Jesus Himself was, and He now points to His followers and says, that’s what you are in this world. “I have given
you the light…shine bright.”
John 8:12, Then Jesus again spoke to them saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness but will have the Light of life.”
- In a dark world, in dark place, shine bright; you have been given the Light of life.
Illus. When Moses came down from mount Sinai with the law in hand, his face was shining after he spoke with God (Exodus 34:29). We know that coming down from the mountain, he put a veil over his face. Why? Because the glow was fading (2 Corinthians 3:12-13)
- Sometimes we do the same. Not wanting others to see that we aren’t shining as brightly as we once did or think we should…So we put a veil on, not wanting others to see our light fading.
- It is important to remember, that the light we have is from Jesus. It is freeing to know that the light we have is because of who He is, rather than who we are not.
- It is not our ability to appear to be something more than we are, rather, we simply reflect His light, His grace, and His goodness in our world.
Matthew 5:14-15, A city on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Illus. The only light on a dead end.
Matthew 5:16, Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your father who is in heaven.
- You are the light of the world. Give light to all in the place you live.
A.Live on Purpose
- Jesus is pointing us toward purpose on this earth, today. To be like salt and light, which are both essential, but their necessary effect comes through distinction, yet full involvement.
- Salt, is a very stable compound, it is very evident when added to something. Light is distinct from darkness, there is no mistaking the difference.
- Right from the beginning, God saw that light was good and separated it from darkness (Genesis 1:3-5), we know also that God is light, there is no darkness in Him (1 John 1:5).
Ephesians 5:8, For you were formerly in darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of light. (For the fruit of Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth).
- Jesus came for all, for me, for you, for your neighbor, and co-worker.
- Sometimes we begin to follow Jesus in our lives and are so thankful for His grace and blessings in our own lives, that we begin to focus exclusively on what He has given us.
- Essentially, Jesus is giving us territory in this world. Territory wherever you are!
- Living on purpose is living with an awareness that there is a territory attached to being a Jesus follower.
- Jesus isn’t listing avoidance as an option. He doesn’t say, if you lose your saltiness, no worries. Or, “you are the light, go ahead and put a basket over it, however.”
Illus. “I’m on vacation!”
- We can look at the places we go and people we know much differently, realizing that where we are, where we work and live are part of the very territory the Lord has given us.
- Jesus directs our thoughts towards a life on purpose, He tells us who we are, now that we are His.
Are you living according to who you say you are? Or who He says you are?