Our B’rit Chadasha reading this morning from Matthew is near the beginning of Yeshua’s most famous sermon, The Sermon on the Mount.
In this message, Yeshua affirms that the Laws of God are unchanging. They will be in effect until this earth is replaced with a new heaven and earth after his millennial reign.
He also called his followers to the highest standards of conduct.
He challenged us to “turn the other cheek.”
He commanded us to love our enemy, to forgive those who do us wrong, and to be sure we act with the purest motives.
He said there are two roads, a wide road that leads to destruction and a narrow one that leads to life.
Today I would like to back up a few verses and take a look at verse 13. Yeshua calls those who follow Him to choose to be a godly influence on the world in which they live.
Those are tough commands. And where are these commands rooted? In our Torah portion. God gave us his standard of holiness on Mount Sinai. Then Yeshua reminded us that he didn’t come to change Torah, but to fulfill it. So God’s word is still our standard of holiness today.
Let’s take a look at Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt should lose its flavor, how shall it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
Yeshua clearly expects the world to be transformed by our presence.
Sodium Chloride, table salt like Morton’s that you buy at the store is pure. But the Morton Salt Co. did not exist back in the first century.
When they mined salt from the quarry or pit it was never completely pure.
Occasionally the salt they gathered was so impure that it was not very salty at all.
When that happened they would cast it out the door to harden the pathway that led to their home.
What Yeshua is saying in these verses is that if we as His followers are going to change the world we have to be pure salt, (P) we have to be the real deal.
Our lives cannot be a mixture of impurities. We have to be un-compromised, pure, and authentic.
When Yeshua says:”You are the salt of the earth.”
He is saying “Be Authentic.” Be the Real Deal! That doesn’t mean that we all must be Morton Salt. No, we are who God made us, each a little different, different talents, different personalities.
He uses each of us in different ways. None of use can reach every person for the Lord. Our specific talents, education, experiences are tools that God can use to reach people. But we have to be authentic.
An inconsistent lifestyle repels people from the congregation.
It repels people from coming to know Messiah as Savior and Lord.
So, how authentic is your walk?
Are the people around you drawn to faith by your life?
Do people who cross your path recognize that there is a difference ……in the way you live?
I cannot tell you how many times I heard someone share they know someone who says they are a Believer in Yeshua, but their life is impure.
We may be the only Bible that our neighbor may truly ever see.
Are you authentic?
Are you the real deal?
Or have you let the impurity of the world dilute your saltiness.
The key is to be authentic; the key is being real, …… not trying to appear to be perfect.
In Ancient Greece they had great theatrical events, plays in large amphitheaters.
They did not have microphones to make their voices heard, and they did not have cameras to magnify their images, so they invented a system.
They developed large masks. The masks made them look like the characters they portrayed. Built into the masks were megaphones to amplify their voices.
The actors on stage, got behind their masks and they became somebody else, someone different than they really were.
The Greeks called these types of actors …..The Hypocrites.”
There are many people whose lives are nothing more than a act.
They play the same role today.
They too are…..The Hypocrites.
Listen to what Yeshua says to us in:
Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.
You see, God wants to change us, but not superficially.
He calls us to be conformed to the image of His Son.
“Believers are to be the good news before they share the good news.”
A Peanuts cartoon, showed Peppermint Patty talking to Charlie Brown. She said,
“Guess what, Chuck.
The first day of school and I got sent to the principal’s office. It was your fault, Chuck.”
He said, “My fault? How could it be my fault? Why do you say everything is my fault?”
She said, “You’re my friend, aren’t you, Chuck?
You should have been a better influence on me.” (Pause)
While Peppermint Patty was seeking to pass the buck, she was in a very real sense right.
We should be a positive influence on our friends.
We certainly do have an influence, all be it for good or for bad.
We are always some type of influence to those in our lives. We are called to be the Salt of the Earth.
Salt is a seasoning, a preservative, but unless it is Brought into contact with another Object its influence is wasted!
Salt becomes Invisible to have a Visible effect.
Salt by itself is nothing more than little fine particles …… and in that state it is worthless.
BUT when it is rubbed onto and into meat, or added to food it becomes Invisible and Then becomes what it was intended for ….Influencing the flavor!
Are you having a visible effect on the world?
Are you influencing the flavor of those that God sends you?
Salt that just sits in the shaker is of no use.
It is much like believers, who become complacent, who no longer share grace; who refuse to take a moral stand; who refuse to share their faith.
They are sitting in a shaker!
Are you authentic are you the real deal or are you wearing a mask.
Are you too often playing the role of the hypocrite.
Is your salt sitting on the shelf or are you in contact with and bringing flavor to those that God has sent you?
What you say and do influences those God puts into your life.
You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.
Today is the day!
Today is the day to dedicate or rededicate your life to the Lordship of Yeshua Messiah.
You are the salt of the earth! You are an influence to those around you.
Let both your life and your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.