Thursday, August 14, 2014

Salty light

I'm preaching at our church this Sunday - always a daunting prospect in Spanish. Even more so this weekend, because the passage I've been give is Matthew 5:13-16 (you are the salt of the earth... you are the light of the world.)

Two things have come to my attention as I've worked on this passage and thought about how to explain and apply it.

1. The "you" is plural - is is "yous". Of course saying this in English makes you sound like a Collingwood supporter, but in Spanish there is a very normal plural you. Seeing this has made me think about the "corporate" aspect of what Jesus is saying here. He is not just addressing a whole lot of individuals as individuals - he is speaking to the group.

What that means is that the application questions "What does this passage mean for me?" changes slightly to "What does this passage mean for us?"

2. In the second image, which is the only one with an exhortation attached, we, being the light of the world, are told what to do with our light. No surprises here - we are to shine it.

But what was a little surprising for me, was the purpose for which the light should shine. It wasn't for us (the shiners), but for whom it shone upon (the shinees??)

The purpose of shining is the light is not so that we will be shiny, but so that those who are looking at the light will give glory to God.

Call me slow (thank you .... I heard that), but I hadn't really thought about that before. So often we want to concentrate our life on ourselves, how we can live better lives, be more godly etc, but here is an encouragement to do that so that others will benefit.

I like that.

Of course it is not some dazzling new theme in the Bible, Paul tells us to count others more significant than yourselves (Phil 2:3), but here is a great example of it.

Be salt, be light - so that others may glorify God.

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