Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our reading from Matthew 5:13-20 points out a striking characteristic of Jesus’ disciples. They are described here as “salt” and “light.” Those who are trusting in Jesus are by their very nature going to give light, hope, and clarity to their world. They serve as salt to flavor and preserve the world. They do this as they honor God’s priorities in the world.
Does Jesus take away God’s law? Not at all. He affirms it. However, we must always remember that even while affirming God’s law as good for our world, he is clear that even the best Christian will not be able to follow God’s law. We try, but we will fail. Jesus, after all, is not a lawgiver. He is a savior. He is the one who forgives and restores. Even as Jesus affirms God’s law, he is preparing to redeem those who are under the judgment of God.
Just another quick observation. We are often told from this passage that we need to work hard at being salt and light. We are urged to work very hard at that project. However, I observe that the verbs are not imperative. They do not make a command. Jesus does not tell his disciples to go and be salt, go and be light. He tells them they are salt and light.
It is the very nature of the Christian to care for the world. Granted, we dare not flee that responsibility. But the regenerate person has a care for the world. It is God’s good creation. It is the place he is redeeming to himself. It is the place we have been put to show God’s mercy.
Lord, have mercy upon us that we may be faithful to the nature you have given us.
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