Matthew 5:13-20 contains the second part of Jesus’s famous “Sermon on the Mount” which was delivered in Galilee, recorded in 3 chapters of Matthew’s gospel, and is filled with teachings that continue to impact believers today. This passage specifically looks at how Jesus gives us a new internal perspective and quality standard for righteousness, by highlighting that our attitude towards others and their opinions about us can have eternal consequences.
The passage begins with verse 13 stating “You are the salt of the earth” (NRSV), as if Jesus were saying how he expects his disciples who follow him to be influential agents of faithfulness and righteousness. A big point here is that while they may be a minority in this world, they still have an important role to play in missional ministry. Through their faithful service they will permeate the atmosphere with God’s love and grace. In vs 15-16 we see Jesus give an example of what he means by being agents of His mission – we must not hide our light under a bushel or let it be put out, but be lit for all people to see. He wants us to consider our behavior choices as having eternal consequences and future reward from God. We must choose our actions carefully in order that we do not live against God’s principles and become poor salt by either compromising godly values or losing its flavor through negligence (vs 17). Finally, verse 19 states “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine…brings forth good fruit” (NRSV). As followers of Jesus Christ these are not just words being spoken; rather, these are commands given by God Himself who is the source of truth and goodness. Therefore those who accept His word need to act on it too!
Meaning For Today
By examining this passage there are several principles that remain essential for today’s Christian life – first, Jesus desires his disciples to conduct themselves faithfully both within ministry settings but also throughout everyday living so that their lives serve as true examples for others to follow. Second, it is important for every believer to remember that his/her behaviour not only affects personal circumstances but also impacts eternity because heaven or hell awaits depending on a person’s choices here on earth. Finally, Jesus calls us to make sure that when hearing His Words they lead us into action – no one should just keep them stored away because such words then lose their value and power!
Questions For Personal Reflection
- Why did Jesus refer to his disciples as ‘salt’ when talking about their role in bringing righteousness?
- In what ways am I able to observe my life reflecting God’s commandments?
- How can I make sure I am living consistently spiritual?
Lord thank you for reminding us through this passage how important it is for each disciple of yours to reflect your love and grace through daily living despite any trials or hardships we encounter along the way! Please help me live by your standards so that I might bring glory onto your name forevermore! Amen