Weekly Devotional 5-23-22 Our Calling
Early in His public ministry, Jesus went throughout Galilee teaching in the synagogues preaching the gospel of the kingdom of heaven and healing people of their sicknesses and casting out demons. Because of this, His fame grew throughout Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem and beyond the Jordan (Matthew 4:23-25). Knowing that it was not for spiritual purposes that the crowds followed Him (John 2:23-25) He found occasion on a certain day to ascend up into a mountain taking His disciples with Him. It is not clear whether or not they perceived why the crowds followed Jesus, but He saw an opportunity to teach them some valuable truths about the Kingdom of heaven; that spiritual blessings are the heritage of those who belong to that Kingdom.
Setting them down He began saying to them: “3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3-10).
At this point in His teaching Jesus switched from the impersonal pronouns of “theirs, they and those” to the personal pronouns of you and your in verses 11-16 “11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 13 You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
In verses 3-10 Jesus talked in an abstract manner but in verses 11-16 He personalized His message to them. They may not have understood it then, but later they would understand that Jesus was calling them to action. That their lives would mean something to the kingdom. He told them that they were the salt of the earth, the light of the world.
Now the question is, is it any different with you and me? Haven’t we been called to be the salt of the earth, the light of the world? If yes, then we like those early disciples are not to lose our effectiveness. Salt among other things, is a preservative. In a spiritual sense are we not therefore to preserve the message of the kingdom? Are we not therefore to be the light of the world? Jesus answered those questions for us. He said “if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned (how shall it be a seasoner)? (another thought: if salt loses its preservative qualities, how will it preserve). As to light, Jesus said: A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”