Matthew 5:13-16

Today, I believe that Pastor Beau Floyd of Emmaus Road Church (facebook) preached on two metaphors which Christians ought to be in the city:  (1) salt and (2) light.  I missed the message because my family spent the morning in Rexburg, Idaho.  But here are some of my interactions with these city-transforming Jesus declarations.

Notable quotes from some of my own reading: 

  • “(Sole et sale nihil utilius) Nothing is more useful than salt and sunshine.” – Pliny
  • “Some modern teachers seem to think our Lord said, You are the sugar of the earth, meaning that gentleness and winsomeness without curativeness is the ideal of the Christian.” – Oswald Chambers
  • “Though the Jews saw themselves as the light of the world (Rom 2:19), the true light is the Suffering Servant (Isa 42:6; 49:6), fulfilled in Jesus himself (Matt 4:16; cf. John 8:12; 9:5; 12:35; I John 1:7).” – Carson
  • Jesus is the Sun, and the church is the moon.
  • “Flight into the invisible is a denial of the call.  A community of Jesus which seeks to hide itself has ceased to follow him.” – Bonhoeffer
  • “The Christian is not someone who lives in isolation. . . . Christian people alone are the light of the world today.” – D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • “The disciples of Christ must not muffle themselves up in privacy and obscurity, under pretence of contemplation, modesty, or self-preservation.” – Henry
  • “Thank God for the men and women who are spending their lives in the slums of the earth, not as social reformers to lift their brothers and sisters to cleaner sties, but as the light of God, revealing a way back to God.” – Chambers
  • “The glory of God is the great thing we must aim at in every thing we do in religion, I Pet. 4:11.  In this center the lines of all our actions must meet.” – Henry

Some of my questions related to this text . . .

Observation (questions for the head)

  1. Jesus uses a metaphor to compare his disciples to what in verse 13?
  2. What happens to tasteless salt?
  3. What is the metaphor that Jesus uses in verse 14?
  4. Why does Jesus want the light placed on a stand?
  5. What does Jesus desire people (1) to see and (2) to give in verse 16?

Interpretation (questions for the head and heart)

  1. What are the benefits of salt? And how does this apply to Christians?
  2. Why in Jesus’ day did they trample tasteless salt under their feet?  Did that serve any purpose?
  3. Have you seen what an ancient Jewish lamp looks like?
  4. How is the “city set on a hill” related to Jerusalem in the Old Testament?
  5. Casting Crowns composed a song, “City on the Hill“.  What do you think of their interpretation and application?  How about City on a Hill by Third Day? Or A City on a Hill by The City Harmonic?
  6. How does light help?

Application (questions for the heart and hands)

  1. How are you different or in contrast to some of the cultural norms in town?
  2. Are you stemming some of the tide of moral decay?
  3. If you have a lantern when you are camping in Idaho, do you put it on the ground or set it up high?  Why would you desire to keep the light of Christ in you only private, inconspicuous, or off-the-radar?
  4. What hinders you from standing on the hill so that all in Idaho Falls might see your life?  What hinders the church?
  5. What good works might you do this week in order to glorify your Father in heaven?
  6. In your service to Jesus this past week, who received the most praise?  You?  Or God?
  7. What is preventing the community of Idaho Falls from seeing and being attracted to the good works done by citizens of Christ’s Kingdom in our city?
  8. Have you ever had someone resent the light which you brought in the midst of their darkness?

About Todd Wood

I am a servant of Jesus in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Join me in seeking Jesus in this city.
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