You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Navigator; Where in the heck are we anyway?
Driver; Hey, I’m the one who’s driving, I thought you were watching for road signs.
Navigator; How are we ever going to find our way back to the main road from here?
Driver; You were supposed to be watching the map. By the way, where is the map? What did you do with the map? WE NEED THE MAAAAAAAAAAP!
As we live our lives looking forward to heaven we sometimes seem to wander without a clear direction. And there’s not always someone sitting next to us to tell us where to go, which turn to take, and how to act. WE NEED A MAP.
Matthew tells us about Jesus’ ministry and how it gives us a roadmap to follow throughout our lives. As Jesus moved about Galilee preaching, teaching and healing He met the people’s needs wherever He encountered them. His words and example helped to guide them through their lives, guiding them closer to God.
During this ministry large crowds would gather around Him as He was becoming very well known. The disciples who were travelling with Him were also well known and might have been tempted to feel important and maybe even a little possessive of Jesus. At one point outside the city of Capernaum Jesus took His disciples aside and talked with them. Jesus told His disciples that being followers of Him would not always be easy. He laid out His “roadmap” for them to follow, giving them some idea of what God expected of them and how to draw closer to Him and how to live a blessed life.
We learn that being a Christian does not mean that things will always be easy.
Jesus tells us as he told His disciples;
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
- Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted
- Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled
- Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy
- Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God
- Blessed are the peacemakers, For they will be called the sons of God
- Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
This is our roadmap through life, this is our way to be blessed through our lives as we look forward to our reward in heaven, spending a glorious eternity with God.
The disciples had made a decision to follow Christ and undoubtedly enjoyed being together at His side. We become a member of God’s family at our baptism and then make a decision to follow Him as we commit our lives to Him at our confirmation. We enjoy being together with other Christians to worship together, commune together, and fellowship together. This is part of living a “blessed” life.
The next time that “going to church” seems routine, or even boring just think about what a special opportunity we have to worship together as Christians and draw closer to God.
Jesus goes on to tell us that we are the salt of the earth. This means that people are watching us and looking for their roadmap also. We have a responsibility to not only live a life that draws us closer to God but also leads others closer to God. May we always set an example of God’s love and mercy that lets people see how wonderful it is to follow Him and live in Him and true fellowship with other believers.
Lord help us to always seek You and see You in everything, and help others to see You in all that we do and say. Amen
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved