Matthew 5:13-20 The Flavor of Faith

13 “You are the salt of the earth; 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 under foot. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 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. 16 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. 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” [NRSA]

Here is why the rabbis, scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and other religious leaders were out to stop Jesus, his pronouncement that they were NOT righteous enough to enter the kingdom of heaven. Image some start-up street evangelist going around telling all the preachers, Sunday school teachers, and church leaders they were going to hell. What might our response be toward that person? I would hope we would not want them dead, but it might be frustrating, annoying, and hopefully convicting enough for some reflection to see why they would be saying such an extreme declaration.

If it is the Messiah passing our judgment, we might hear it one way, but if are not believing the messenger is the Son of God, we are likely to think of them as a cracked pot.

Jesus is modeling what it means to let our words be salty. Filled with a flavor of the kingdom.

We are called to be Salty Disciples. A little rough around the edges. Not the grouchy ole sarcastic wanna-be disciple, but the ones who have a bit of accountability and teaching in our words.

There is a difference between being sarcastic and wise. Most folks who intend to be known for their wisdom believe that sarcasm is the best method of teaching some a lesson. When in fact the root words of sarcasm are “to tear the flesh.” Jesus is not about tearing flesh!

Our Words and Actions Matter

Jesus is teaching disciples and followers that our words and actions need to make a difference for the kingdom, for ourselves, and in our dealing with other people.

One of the ways we practice salty conversation is to ask each other meaningful questions. Just as we gave out the “faith question cards” two weeks ago, I hope you used that occasion to share a salty conversation with someone about some part of life in God’s kingdom.  Are there any who have a story to report?



The Commandments are

To trust God make us rich in spirit

To comfort those who mourn

To value humility and grace

To hunger for what is just and right

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?  So many blends of ingredients these days. There are purest who will say vanilla or chocolate, some candy or fruity base. Three-berry-blend of raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries with a vanilla base might be the most refreshing, but its also hard to beat the chocolate and peanut butter blend of a Butterfinger or Reece’s, sweet and salty blend.

To invite divisive people to make peace.

To help our neighbor prioritize the purpose of life, work, & rest.


We come to the table to be made righteous

We who are sinful and broken

We who are quick to fail and find short cuts that satisfy our own notion of what God wants and expects

  Thank goodness Jesus opens the door od grace and eternal life to us now. Come to the table. Come and become  the salt of the earth

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