Salt and Light
Matthew 5:13-16
We are blessed to be a blessing.
#light
#goodworks
#blessing
Published November 11th, 2020; Updated November 15th, 2020
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Main point summary
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Markup and cross refs
Notes about cross references
Observations and questions
Theological reflection
notes
Main point summary
You, citizen’s of God’s kingdom, are like salt and light, agents for redeeming the world. Therefore, cause others to glorify God by working to make the world better and preserve it and living your life out in the open.
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Matthew 5:13-16
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“You are the salt of the earth,
You, humble citizens of God’s kingdom, are like salt; that is the means that God is using to preserve the world,
k but if salt has lost its taste,
But understand this about salt: if so called “salt” becomes diluted and loses its taste,
how shall its saltiness be restored?
then its salt cannot be put back into it.
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It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
As a result , it is no longer useful except to be thrown in the trash.
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l “You are the light of the world.
To give another analogy, you all are like the light the illuminates a world in darkness.
A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Speaking of lights, consider the city on a hill. You couldn’t hide its light if you tried.
m Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket,
To give another example, when you put a fire to a lamp, you don’t then put it under a basket.
but on a stand,
Rather , you put it up high
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and it gives light to all in the house.
and it then it enlightens everyone in the house.
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In the same way, let your light shine before others,
Just as it would be inconceivable to high the light of a city or a lamp, it is inconceivable for you to hide your light. Therefore , live in such a way that your light is evident to others
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so n that 1 they may see your good works
so that others may see your good deeds, which are fruit of God’s work in you,
and o give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
and, as a result , acknowledge the greatness of your Heavenly Father.
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inference
progression
If salt loses its taste, its saltiness can’t be restored.
If salt loses its taste, it is then useless.
Even though you are salt of the earth, it is possible for salt to become useless. (Implication: don’t let your salt lose its taste.)
Because your purpose is to be light to the world, cause others to acknowledge God’s greatness by living fruitful lives out in the open.
Just as it is inconceivable that a city or a lamp be hidden, it is inconceivable for you to hide your light. It has to shine!
The people who are salt of the earth are the people who are blessed in the beatitudes (verses 3-12).
See Matthew 4:16
THEREFORE, cause others to acknowledge God’s greatness due to the good you do for others by living your life out in the open.
I chose progression here because I Jesus develops the light analogy further than he develops the salt analogy by giving the command “let your light shine”.
Light is meant to be displayed. (Hidden light doesn’t make sense.)
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Key for highlighting
Colors represent similarity within the passage Underline represents comparison or contrast within the passage Dashed represents similarity with other passages Zigzag represents contrast with other passages Outline represents something notable or something that stands out
Markup and cross refs
Matthew 5:13-16
Salt and Light 13 “You are the salt of the earth , k but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 l “You are the light of the world . A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 m Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket , but on a stand , and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so n that 1 they may see your good works and o give glory to your Father who is in heaven .
Mark 9:50
50 v Salt is good, w but if the salt has lost its saltiness , how will you make it salty again? x Have salt in yourselves, and y be at peace with one another .”
Luke 14:34
Salt Without Taste Is Worthless 34 w “ Salt is good, x but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored ?
Ephesians 5:8
8 for b at one time you were c darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. d Walk as children of light
Philippians 2:15
15 that you may be blameless and innocent, l children of God m without blemish n in the midst of o a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine p as lights in the world,
John 8:12
I Am the Light of the World 12 l Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, m “I am the light of the world. Whoever n follows me will not o walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Mark 4:21
A Lamp Under a Basket 21 w And he said to them, x “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket , or under a bed, and not on a stand ?
Luke 8:16
A Lamp Under a Jar 16 m n “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand , so that those who enter may see the light .
Luke 11:33
The Light in You 33 d “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket , but on a stand , so that those who enter may see the light .
Philemon 6
6 and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full j knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. 1
1 Peter 2:12
12 k Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, l they may see your good deeds and glorify God on m the day of visitation.
John 15:8
8 g By this my Father is glorified , that you h bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
2 Corinthians 9:13
13 By their approval of this service , f they 1 will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your g confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others ,
Philippians 1:11
11 filled u with the fruit of righteousness that comes v through Jesus Christ, w to the glory and praise of God .
Matthew 9:8
8 When the crowds saw it, c they were afraid, and c they glorified God , who had d given such authority to men .
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Notes about cross references
Philemon 6 - letting our light shine before others is similar to sharing our faith 2 Corinthians 9:13 - our good works also causes other believers to give glory to God Matthew 9:8 - glorifying God in this context means that they recognized the power of God, which led them to be afraid.
Observations and questions
Observations Jesus is a great teacher. He uses metaphor to help us understand. Jesus uses the impactful image of being trampled under people’s feet. Things that are trampled under people’s feet are worthless. It is a great responsibility and privilege to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. This privilege is given to the lowly members of society (Matthew 5:3-12). Letting our light shine is hard when we are persecuted for doing so. Our good works glorify God. When believers let their lights shine, people see their good works and give credit to God. Questions What does it mean that we are the salt of the earth? What does it mean for us to lose our taste ? Why can’t our saltiness be restored? How are we light to the world? What things should we do to let our light shine before others? What things make our light fail to shine before others? Why does Jesus say salt “of the earth” and not “salt of the world”?
Theological reflection
Abram was blessed so that he would be a blessing
Comments
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.