Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
Now for the second image—light. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
NOTE again Jesus says, “You ARE the light of the world!” Salt has a powerful, invisible nature to it; light has more of the visible presence of God. Salt must be sensed; light must be seen! Light counteracts the darkness!
The visible presence of God consists of the energy of salt and the expression of light—IT MUST BE ATTRACTIVE AND AUTHENTIC! The core of this light can be found in loving your neighbor as yourself.
We are beyond the point where mere talk—no matter how sound—can make an impression. Demonstration is required. We must live what we talk, even in places where we cannot talk what we live. We stand again at Mt. Carmel (I Kings 18:20-40). THE TEST IS REALITY—AUTHENTICITY—THE GENUINE!
Whereas salt was a warning against being good for nothing, light is used to show us how to be good for something. It is the outer or doing side of these two images used by Jesus. Light is the best tag to be placed on the second four snapshots—merciful, pure in heart, peacemaker and rejoicing in persecution.
You ARE the salt of the earth and you ARE the light of the world; you ARE the invisible and visible presence of God on planet earth. Don’t become tasteless as salt and don’t dim out or cover up your light! Allow Jesus to be sensed and seen in you.
Nearly 40 years ago E. Stanley Jones, the great Methodist writer and missionary to India, was asked to name the number one problem in the church. His quick reply was `Irrelevance.’ Not that the church was inherently irrelevant, but that followers of Jesus were failing to show in concrete ways and to tell in cogent understandable terms how Jesus is relevant to all of life in the twentieth century.
So, how can this be done? Jesus offers two relevant roles for his followers to play out in the Kingdom—be salt to counteract the decay around you and be light to counteract the darkness in the world.