Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount, directions for living in His Kingdom.
He also told many parables about the difference between His Kingdom and the
Kingdoms of the earth.
Forgiveness, Peace, and putting others first are some characteristics that make one great in the future Kingdom of God. To be great in God's Kingdom, we must live by God's standards right now. Jesus came to show us how to live as faithful subjects in his Kingdom.
Matthew was a Jewish tax collector, who became one of Jesus's disciples, writing especially to the Jews, to prove that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal King. In the Sermon preached on the Mount, Jesus gives us the Beatitudes, the attitude Christians are to have. Verse 13-16 gives us the three symbols of the Christian, "Ye are the salt of the earth: , verse 14 - Ye are the light of the World; A City that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
What a challenge Jesus gives to the people who proclaim to be Christians. I don't think that stronger and more significant figures or symbols could have been employed to mesmerize the great challenge of the Christian to the World. Jesus, in this declaration, shows us the importance of our Role and our function in world order.
"Ye are the Salt of the earth", "Ye are the Light of the World", "A city that sits on a Hill", not in a Valley, but on a hill, that cannot be hid. Can you conceive of what it really means to be a Christian?
Jesus was speaking to Eastern Orientals, who really regarded salt as one of the most important commodities that went on the table. Salt is plenteous, easy to obtain, and we don't think too much of it, but no matter how well your food is cooked, no matter how good your steak is, no matter how good your chicken is or your ham, if salt is not used, you cannot acquire the flavor and satisfaction that comes from Salt.
Salt was very important to the oriental mind, for many reasons. They made their oaths with salt. In rituals and Oath taking ceremonies, salt was used to ratify that Oath. In perfecting a bond of friendship, in the performance of religious ceremonies; when the priest officiated at the altar, salt was used. Salt in another instance was used for preservative reasons. Salt preserved certain things, such as meats, that were to be kept without spoiling.
So when Jesus said, "Ye are the salt of the Earth," He was saying something. He was challenging us. First, if the Christian is likened unto salt in the matter of taking Oaths, the Christian is thereby expected to demonstrate the highest type of honesty and dependability. An Oath is a symbol of something that can be counted on. So that if Christians are like salt in these various functions and in these connections, as in the matter of taking Oaths, then, you/we can see what it really means.
Jesus challenged these men centuries ago. He was saying to them, To be My followers, to be My disciples, to come after Me, you must be the salt of the earth, in that you are the highest type of honesty and dependability.
If you are like salt in the beginning of a meal,
then you are the dispenser to the taste of life.
There are some elements in your life that should touch other lives and cause them to be saved, to preserve them. People should live because they have come in touch with you. Something about your life is like salt, it should put meaning to life.
When you become Saved, Sanctified, Baptized with the Holy Ghost and Fire, there should be seasoning in your life. You are a new creature. Your light should shine so bright that the world will see the difference IICor 5:17. "If any man be in Christ, he is a New Creature, old things are passed away and behold all things are become new". You become a City for the World to see Rom. 12:1.
"I beseech you brethers by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living Sacrifice, Holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind".