Salt and Light Facts for 9-13 Year Olds

Categories: Sermon on the Mount

  • After the blessings stated in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus begins to discuss witnessing.
  • Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth….”
  • Greek writers do not need to use pronouns, such as you.
  • And there are no rules for word order in a Greek sentence.
  • In this particular case, the pronoun “you” is not only written, but it is also first.
  • So this is like someone pointing a finger and shouting, “YOU, you are the salt of the earth!”
  • So what does that mean?
  • Salt has many purposes in antiquity.
  • It is used to preserve food.
  • Salt is also used to flavor food.
  • It is used in temple rituals.
  • It can also be used as a fertilizer, if used correctly.
  • Since salt is essential to life, perhaps Jesus is saying that the disciples are essential to the life of the world.
  • Since it’s a preservative, the disciples are meant to combat spiritual and moral decay. That means they are to do the right thing and to help others do the right thing, too, even when it’s hard.
  • As a fertilizer, the disciples are to prepare the soil for the gospel, as you would prepare the soil for a garden.
  • Salt is not salt for itself, but for its uses.
  • The disciples are not existing for themselves but for others.
  • Membership in the kingdom is not for their own enjoyment but for the benefit of others. They are to bless others.
  • Jesus also says, “but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
  • There is a sense of responsibility with salt. Moreover, there is a warning; disciples can lose their saltiness if they go along with what people are doing rather than what God wants.
  • It’s really saying that to lose one’s saltiness is to become foolish.
  • Then, Jesus says, “You are the light of the world.”
  • Light is open, manifest.
  • Light dispels the darkness.
  • Even the tiniest night-light at night lights up an entire room.
  • Moreover, now the disciples are the light of the world. The word is actually cosmos; it now has cosmic significance.
  • The disciples are, once again, indispensable to life.
  • “A city built on a hill cannot be hid.”
  • Even from faraway, a city on a hill can be seen.
  • “No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.”
  • The light of the disciples must shine before all.
  • “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
  • This is the crowning statement.
  • They exist for the benefit of others.
  • All these verbs are in the present tense, indicating continuous action.
  • Disciples are to let their light shine; let it keep on shining.
  • They are to do—to keep on doing—good works so that people may glorify their Father in heaven.
  • Works are to be transparent.
  • Jesus does not promote his own glory, nor does he give warrant to his followers to seek any for themselves.
  • The salt and light metaphors indicate that the disciples are completely changed individuals. They have the kingdom within.