By Jon Kauffman
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. Matthew 5:13 NIV.
How does salt lose its saltiness? In the day of Jesus, the salt from the Dead Sea was used for many purposes in the home and in business. Ocean sea salt is about 85% Sodium Chloride. Dead Sea salt is only 30% Sodium Chloride with a high concentration of ions from several different minerals. When the residents of Judah would save the salt, the Sodium Chloride would sometimes leach out leaving the other minerals and so the salt would lose its saltiness.
The salt can be compared to Christ. The remaining minerals can be compared to the world.
A Christian who has lost his salt is so earthly minded that he is no heavenly good.
A Christian who is following Jesus will have the salt to affect change in himself and those around him.
If we have lost our saltiness we will not have that good affect to those around us. We may very well have the opposite affect and magnify the evil around us.
When we put a small amount of salt on our food, the flavor of the food will be changed and enhanced to make the food taste better. A small amount of salt can be used to preserve food.
If we have the saltiness of Jesus in our lives, our very presence in society will make that society better.
What does this saltiness that changes society look like?
If we are following Jesus, we will let our light shine.
Jesus said, Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NIV.
Someone who is allowing their light to shine will see the poor and hurting around them and take action to help them. They will show others the way to Jesus and some of them will follow.
If we are following Jesus, we will be reconciled to our brother and sister.
Jesus said, 23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23, 24 NIV.
To Jesus peaceful loving relationships are more important than giving money.
We will not look lustfully at women.
Jesus said, 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. Matthew 5:27-39. NIV.
If we are following Jesus, we will turn the other cheek.
Jesus said, 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” Matthew 5:38-39
Moses allowed an eye for an eye but Jesus does not allow us to take revenge against the evil person. Jesus has asked us in the Church to use no violence. We will not violently resist that evil person.
If we are following Jesus, we will love our enemies.
Jesus said, 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:44-48. NIV.
Pagans use violence when protecting themselves and conquering their enemies. If we use violence, how are we different than them. Jesus calls us to something higher. He asks us to break the cycle of death, violence and evil and love our enemies.
Copyright © 2019 by Jon Kauffman. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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Picture: Copyright © 2019 by Leon Kauffman