Our small group spent two weeks studying the passages in all three of the Synoptic Gospels where Jesus refers to His followers as the “salt of the earth” and “light of the world” (see Matthew 5:1-16, Mark 9:33-50, and Luke 14:25-35).
We found that our working definition of what it is to be salt and light tends to be woefully shallow and one-dimensional.
I attempted to synthesize the issues raised by all three passages into a summary statement. While this is definitely more expansive than the typical definition you’ll get from your average Joe Christian, it isn’t by any means exhaustive.
Give it a read — and let me know what you think:
Being salt and light in the world is an all-encompassing way of life that is divinely sanctioned, from top to bottom. It recognizes the unvarnished truth of our station before God, as well as our relationship to one another (within the community of faith) and to the wider world.
Before God, we are spiritually impoverished and in desperate need of His cleansing touch. In response, we pursue God and His righteousness by mourning our sins and dealing ruthlessly with our sinful tendencies — for God will not brook split allegiances.
Before one another, we adopt a posture of openheartedness — an eagerness to freely and peaceably receive, serve, and minister to one another in Christ’s name, and a recognition that worldly hierarchicalism in all its forms is a prideful and bitter poison that has no place amongst Jesus’ followers.
Before the world, we walk not in the brash, self-righteous flamboyance of the pointed finger or the upturned nose, but with mercy, with the kind of winsome, gentle, fervent devotion to God that speaks far better than mere words can. And when the world rejects or seeks to hurt us for this, we humbly entrust ourselves to God, being counted among those of whom the world was not worthy.
aka The MonT-SteR