Read: Matthew 5:1-16
I often imagine being one of Jesus’ committed disciples and sitting near him as he talks about living. Here, he speaks to his closest followers about attitudes that flow from a pure heart. Jesus’ words are very exciting to read and yet very difficult to apply!
Jesus paints a picture of happiness in verses 3-10, and then he gives us a strong image of how followers are to “look” to the world. Basically, he says, “this is why you’re here…to be different.” (my paraphrase of verses 13-16) Yesterday you read about a higher calling that affects what you do—fish for people. Today’s reading impacts who we are to be—different. Not “weird” different…but “different” different. Different so you stand out in a crowd…not because you’re crude but you stand out because you’re a person with character. You are different because of whose you are.
Jesus uses the images of salt and light to help us see that we are to counteract decay (salt) and darkness (light) which are symbols of living the world’s way. I love the paraphrase (from The Message) that reads, “You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth…and you’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.”
Are you living a life that’s different from the world’s way?
Not a life that brings attention to itself, but a life that counteracts the decay of hatred and brings light to the darkness of evil?
How can you be different today?