The Savior’s Sermon (Part 1)
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, 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.”Matthew 5:13–16
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If someone called you “salt,” how would you respond? Would you be flattered, confused, or maybe even offended? Sodium chloride is not your typical term of endearment, and yet in Matthew 5:13–16, Jesus refers to His followers as the salt and light of the world! Why would Jesus choose to refer to us in this way?
To understand this, we need to consider the usefulness of salt. Salt is needed in our lives for many reasons. For example, it helps to regulate human nerve and muscle control, as well as control fluid balance in the body. It is used to preserve, cook, and season many foods. Just imagine eating french fries without salt! Suddenly, being called salt is much more of a compliment.
Next, Jesus refers to us as “light” in Matthew 5:14-16. Needless to say, light is essential in our lives. Without it, the earth could not sustain life! We need light in our homes and in our schools in order to see and work effectively. Therefore, Jesus calls us salt and light for a reason. When Jesus refers to us in this way, He is giving us a call to be the necessary messengers of the Gospel in our communities, in our homes, and in our schools.
So what does being salt and light look like in our classrooms? Maybe it means praying in our classrooms, and praying for and with our students. Maybe it means showing interest in the lives of our students and offering encouragement. Maybe it means pointing our students to the Word, and ensuring that our teaching always points to Christ, whether we teach religion or math.
Maybe you are familiar with the popular children’s song “This Little Light of Mine.” In the song, there are two threats at hand to our call to be light. One is to “hide it under a bushel,” and the other is to “let Satan blow it out.” Both are possible and even tempting at times. Being the salt and light of the Earth is not always an easy task, and in fact, we often fail at it. Yet, because of the true Light of the world, Jesus Christ, we are forgiven and free. In His light, being the salt and light of the world is a wonderful call. As teachers, every day is a new opportunity to proclaim the truth of God’s Word and the salvation that is ours in Christ Jesus. As we go about our day, I pray that we remember to be salt and to let the light of Christ shine in all we say and do.
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