Red Letter Year: 3/15

Matthew 5:13-20

You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!”


You are salty – keep be salty. You light up all those around you – don’t put out your light, keep shining bright. With both of these Jesus encourages us to keep being and doing what we are. He doesn’t say become salty or turn on your light. We are salty and we illuminate because the Holy Spirit makes these so, we don’t have the power to generate these realities, but we do have the power to negate them. So how about it? How salty are you? Are you adding flavor to the lives of the people around you? Are you lighting up your corner of the world? Are people illuminated when they are with you? If not, ask the Spirit to renew your flavor and rekindle your flame. Also spend time praying, asking how it is you lost your saltiness and light. Work on keeping those traits.

Also, this thing about Jesus not abolishing the law. The Gospels are written in Greek, but the Hebrew/Aramaic word Jesus used when he gave this teaching was most likely the word qum, which means to fill full (many English translations have “fulfill” right here) or to resurrect, i.e., to fill (a dead body) full of life. I think that is the best understanding here. Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law of Moses, he came to raise it from the dead and fill it full of life. That’s what Jesus does with everything – he fills us full of life, saltiness, and light. Let’s live bright, shining, salty lives full of life!

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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