Have you ever wondered why Jesus asked His followers to be salt and light? I mean why not sugar and wind? Portions of Matthew 5:11-16 say the following: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake…You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned…You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Salt, light, a city on a hill; these are not things that hang out in the background, they are front and center and when they are missing, everything is off. Have you ever tried a recipe without salt? I made our favorite Brazilian cheese bread recipe once without salt. We begrudgingly ate them, but they were completely flavorless even though every other ingredient was present. How well did it go the last time you searched for a missing item in the dark? You may have eventually found it but it’s certain you gained some bumps and bruises along the way.
Jesus knows the end from the beginning and everything in-between. He knew that throughout history each generation of Christ’s followers was going to face some really tough stuff that would tempt them to take to the hills and hide out. The verses in Matthew prove it because immediately following His blessing (which is tied in with a prophecy that we will be persecuted), He commands us to be salt, light, and a city on a hill. In other words, be Jesus to the world around us. Jesus received pushback everywhere He went no matter what He did. If He healed, He was accused of having a demon, if He didn’t heal they kicked Him out of the city. And yet, He just kept moving, doing whatever God asked Him to do to bring salt and light to the world around Him. He didn’t take his followers and start an exclusive community off the grid. Instead, He sent them out to spread the Good News knowing they would face persecution and hatred.
If we subtracted ourselves from the world, it would be like eating bread without salt or trying to find a diamond in pitch dark. You may be tempted to think the world deserves that for all the evil they have done. We once deserved it too, but God still sent salt and light into our lives to show us how much we needed Jesus. Share Christ with others, Christian!