Have you ever said you will do something, without being really clear on what it is you have agreed to do? And then you discover…
Matthew 5:13-20 (CEV)
Salt and Light
13 You are like salt for everyone on earth. But if salt no longer tastes like salt, how can it make food salty? All it is good for is to be thrown out and walked on.
14 You are like light for the whole world. A city built on top of a hill cannot be hidden, 15 and no one would light a lamp and put it under a clay pot. A lamp is placed on a lampstand, where it can give light to everyone in the house. 16 Make your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven.
The Law of Moses
17 Don’t suppose that I came to do away with the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to do away with them, but to give them their full meaning. 18 Heaven and earth may disappear. But I promise you that not even a period or comma will ever disappear from the Law. Everything written in it must happen.
19 If you reject even the least important command in the Law and teach others to do the same, you will be the least important person in the kingdom of heaven. But if you obey and teach others its commands, you will have an important place in the kingdom. 20 You must obey God’s commands better than the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law obey them. If you don’t, I promise you that you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus has shown the disciples what true blessing is, he now tells them what they have to do. This is right at the beginning. He has called his disciples and now he is telling them what the calling is. They are to be salt and light in the world – to be his presence. He has come to show them God’s ways, and they are to live them in the world, so that everyone can see. God’s blessings are not just for them to hug tightly to themselves, but to share with everyone else, that they too might see God.
And for those who thought Jesus was bringing something new…
well he is, and he isn’t. God’s ways haven’t changed. He hasn’t come to tell them that God didn’t mean all those things about loving your neighbour and living justly; he has come to show them what those things actually look like. Successive generations had failed to grasp what God meant by his laws, so now they are going to be shown. That is what Jesus is here to do, and what his disciples are called to do too.
So the challenge, as ever, is to live God’s ways, day by day, in all we do.
Help me Lord,
as I learn about you
to live it,
that others may know too