The Sermon on the Mount – Salt and Light


Passage: Matthew 5:13-16

As we prepare for Sunday morning read through the passage and think about importance and uses of salt and light.

Read these verses on light. 

Matthew 4:12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali– 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: 15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles– 16 the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” 17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 9:5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Engage & Extend

This is a very well known passage, with a powerful challenge for followers of Jesus.

If we take the sections about salt and light in parallel. we can see Jesus is making several important statements.

Purpose statements

13 “You are the salt of the earth. 

14 “You are the light of the world.

The disciples purpose is to be salt and light.

What do you think Jesus means when he says salt and light?

Salt as we read in this verse salt is about TASTE.

Making things better, enhancing the flavour.

This is what Jesus came to do.

John 10:10b I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Think about the ministry of Jesus and how he fulfilled this understanding of salt. How can we as his disciples do as Jesus did and enhance what’s around us. 

Light shows the way.

Matthew 4:16 the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” 17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

We shine light though – Our Message

The message Jesus brought to the people of Israel was simple and it Brough light to their spiritual darkness, we are to bring light to the people around us as we bring the same message. 

Think about the opportunities we can have to bring this message of Jesus to those around us.

Pray asking God to give you opportunities and the boldness to share the message of Jesus.

We shine light though – Our Work

What we do is so important, it must point to Jesus, showing the change and joy that He brings to our lives. As we were challenged in Colossians.

Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

How does this challenge you?

Impossible statements 

13 But if the salt loses its saltiness (tasteless), how can it be made salty again?

14b A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 

These two things cannot happen.  

13b It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.

We would never do these things with real salt and a light source, it just wouldn’t make sense.  

The same is true for disciples we are salt and light, we can’t not be these.

How does this challenge you?

Purpose statement

15b Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

Disciples can’t do anything else but shine the light of Jesus. 

Command / possible statement

16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Let us listen to this command of Jesus and pray that we will be used as a means of bringing others to glorify God. 

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