Salt and Light13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
What possible influence could the people described in the Beatitudes exert in this hard, tough world? What lasting good can the poor and the meek do, the mourners and the merciful - those who seek peace and not war? Would they not be simply overwhelmed by the flood tide of evil? What can they accomplish - whose only passion is righteousness, and whose only weapon is purity of heart? Are not such people too feeble to achieve anything? Jesus does not share this skepticism as this passage demonstrates. He expects us to have a profound influence on those around us.
1. In what ways have Christians had a positive influence on society?
2. Before refrigeration, salt was used to keep meat from rotting. What then does Jesus' statement "You are the salt of the earth" (v. 13) tell us about society and the church's role in it?
3. What has been in the news lately that might indicate that society is rotting and decaying?
4. What are some practical ways we can function as salt where we live, work and play?
5. What might cause Christians to lose their saltiness?
6. Jesus' second statement is, "You are the light of the world" (v. 14). As salt we can prevent decay, the spread of evil. How does the church's role as light complement its role as salt?
7. How can we positively promote the spread of truth in the world?
8. Why might we be tempted to hide our light? (v. 15)
9. What is the result, according to Jesus, of people seeing our good deeds? (v. 16)
10. What examples can you think of where the work of Christians has brought people closer to God?
11. What relationship do you see between the Beatitudes and our role as salt and light in society?
12. What is one way you can begin having a stronger influence as salt and light this week?