“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
Chapters 5–7 in Matthew make up what is known as the Sermon on the Mount because Jesus gave it on a hillside near Capernaum. Enormous crowds were following Jesus—he was the talk of the town, and everyone wanted to see him. This “sermon” probably covered several days of preaching. In it, Jesus proclaimed his attitude toward the law of Moses. Position, authority, and money are not important in his Kingdom—what matters is faithful obedience from the heart. The Sermon on the Mount challenged the proud and legalistic religious leaders of the day. It called them back to the messages of the Old Testament prophets who, like Jesus, taught that heartfelt obedience is more important than legalistic observance.
If a seasoning has no flavor, it is not effective. If Christians make no effort to affect the world around them, they are not effective for the Kingdom. Christians should not blend in with everyone else. Instead, we should affect others positively, just as seasoning brings out the best flavor in food.
Can you hide a city that sits on top of a hill? Its light at night can be seen for miles. If we live for Christ, we will glow like spotlights, lighting up the darkness and showing others what Christ is like. We hide our light by (1) being quiet when we ought to speak, (2) going along with the crowd though repulsed by observed behaviors, (3) denying the light, (4) letting sin dim our light, (5) not explaining our light to others, or (6) ignoring the needs of others. Your priorities and integrity often speak louder than words. How will you be a beacon of truth this week?