Page 16 - September 2023 - Truth & Tidings
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he Lord Jesus unfolded these two   Jesus are evidently very different. Salt is
              metaphors in His discourse on   that which preserves; light is that which
        Tthe kingdom in Matthew 5-7. In       is seen and which shines forth. It speaks
        His teaching, He revealed the spiritual   in principle of that which makes God
        character and the characteristics of His   known. Salt acts in a private way and in a
        kingdom and set forth its elevated nature   sphere which may not be noticed; light is
        to His disciples.                     set forth and seen in a more public setting.
          The Lord commenced this teaching with   These speak of the two spheres of every
        special reference to the spiritual favour   believer’s life. We have responsibilities in
        that God has bestowed on His own; the   our private lives and our public relation-
        beatitudes set forth these blessings in all of   ships to represent God before men.
        their bounty and fulness. It has been noted   The Details of the Metaphors
        that in the structure of the nine beatitudes,   The Lord’s words are very clear: we
        the first four stress our relationship with   are not like salt and light – we are salt and
        God. The Lord Jesus describes the poor in   light! What is being stressed are the facts;
        spirit, the mournful, the meek, and those   the Lord is making a statement about His
        who hunger and thirst after righteousness.   own and what they are in their character.
        The emphasis is placed on our relation-  Then Christ presents a contrast. Salt is an
        ship with Him. The conclusion of the be-  agent that is a preservative; it is the enemy
        atitudes focuses on our relationship with   of decay. It is contrasted with the earth
        the world. We see its hatred and animosity   which is corrupt. The fact that we are the
        toward those who follow Christ and are   light of the world suggests that the world
        part of His kingdom. The Lord intimated,   is in darkness. We have been left in a world
        first to His own and then by extension to   marked by moral decay and degenerate
        us, what we should expect from the world.   darkness. We are expected to have an
          It is in this context, where the disciples’   arresting influence and an illuminating
        relationship to the King, His kingdom   impact for our Lord.
        and then the world are introduced, that   The Development of the Metaphors
        these two aspects and metaphors are     The development of these metaphors
        highlighted.                          is seen in the Old Testament. The second
        The Difference in the Metaphors       time salt is mentioned in the Scriptures is
          The two metaphors used by the Lord   in Genesis 19:26: Lot’s wife became a pil-

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