Lessons from the Mountainside: 9

Jesus had just said some hard things on the mountain that day by basically guaranteeing that those who are part of his kingdom will face persecution. Still, they’re supposed to remember there’s blessing in that because something better is coming.

Blessing removes the sting.

I can almost picture Jesus sharing this news of persecution and trouble with that crowd, and as he does, a tear falls from his eye—it’s a salty tear, they always are, but it reminds him of another reason his followers will always face backlash for their faith.

Christ-followers are salty, and salt cannot be ignored by the one who gets a taste of it.

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

Matthew 5:13 CSB

The one who tastes and sees that the Lord is good, upon hearing the good news from a believer, finds the flavor of the disciple to be pleasant and appealing. We offer something to the world in Christ—the chance to have an abundant life. Without Christ, the world is like bland food. My late husband would be happy to know I thought of a verse he often quoted:

Is bland food eaten without salt? Is there flavor in an egg white?  

Job 6:6

Life in Christ adds flavor, gives meaning to life, and his followers are like saltshakers to those around them, showing them what they’re missing.

But, when we lose our hunger and thirst for righteousness, when we allow sin to grieve the Spirit in us, when we fail to bring peace for the sake of Christ, yes, we might have less persecution or trials in our life, but we will also grow bland and tasteless. There’s no reason for a lost soul to be drawn to me when I’m no different from him and have nothing the brings distinction to the way I react to the world around me.

A saltless Christian is not good for anything.

Don’t blame me, Jesus said it first, and he said it to all those people on the mountain, but especially to those like his disciples, who were seeking God and beginning to trust in this man as the Messiah. He’s telling them that in the Kingdom there is blessing, troubles, and purpose. If you have lived with Christ as Lord for any length of time you should have experienced all three.

If you are missing one or more, it might be time to check your saltshaker, confess some sin, and let the Spirit refill your tank.

If you’re living a life that’s just plain bland, then maybe it’s time to put your faith in the man who can give you…

Grace and Peace

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