In the years of His public ministry Jesus drew a large following. News about Him spread beyond Israel’s borders all over Syria. The crowds that followed Him were people from all walks of life ranging from locals to foreigners. On one occasion Jesus sat down on top of a hill to answer questions people had, thus inspiring the Sermon on the Mount. The traditional location for the Mount of Beatitudes is on the northwestern sea shore of Galilee.
While Jesus spoke to the multi-ethnic crowd He also had His countrymen in mind. To reach this very diverse group of people the Lord used word imagery. For instance He picked salt and light to address some issues He noticed among God’s people. “When salt loses its flavor it’s no longer good for anything.” Jesus said; in other words, believers lose their flavor when their love grows cold.
Another issue Jesus brought up was a religious obsession He observed in some law-abiding Jews of His day. Not to mingle with the unclean increasingly alienated them from common people. The salt and light allegory picks up on that. In nature focused light develops into devastating wildfires while salt landscapes are known to be sterile. Believers who do not mingle represent this kind of barren landscape metaphorically speaking. Light and salt can only serve its purpose when spread.
Sitting on the patio at night with a light source, we know what happens after a short while. All kinds of flying critters will come straight toward the light. Light attracts. Regardless where we are from, there is a common denominator: we are all drawn to the light.
God is light. Whoever walks with God walks in the light. And whoever walks in the light is very noticeable and attracts other people. We mingle with others to reveal God’s mysteries and share His love. This is the destiny of God’s children. Spreading light and salt they make this world a better place – and point to an even better world to come.