Matthew 5:14 (ESV): 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Matthew 5-7 is Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, a manifesto of what it means to be a follower, a disciple, of Christ, a citizen of the kingdom of God.
Jesus began his sermon by addressing a felt need: how can I have a “good” or “successful” life? Jesus’ answer in the form of the nine beatitudes is totally countercultural. The way to lasting happiness and success in God’s kingdom is to go down, not up.
Jesus then transitioned to tell his disciples that they were salt and light to the world. The salt of that day was not pure sodium chloride, but rather had many impurities. It was truly possible for their “salt” to lose flavor and be nasty, good for nothing but to be street filler. Their cities were often fortresses built on hills, high above the rest of the area to aid in the protection of their citizens.
Salt was only good if it had its flavor and was in contact with its world. Light only made sense when it was shining bright for the world to see.
Our family has traveled from the midwest to California numerous times. One of my favorite sights on the trip is Albuquerque, New Mexico, especially in the evening. This city is built on a hill and the lights at night make it look breathtaking.
Question: does our light shine so purely and brightly for Christ that others find it breathtaking?
Heavenly Father, help me to live pure and holy for you, a breathtaking testimony in a world of darkness and sin. In Jesus’ name, Amen.