Jesus opened his mouth and taught them how one lives in such a way as to represent His kingdom. He not only gave the action but also the unique reward of each. Then He followed the methods to be used with the goal of their duties:
“You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world…”
We are so familiar with the phrase “salt of the earth” it is surprising Google says so little about its origins. “Matt. 5:13 and 1350-1400; Middle English” is about all you get from dictionary.com except for this definition:
Noun – an individual or group considered as representative of the best or noblest elements of society.
I think that is probably just what Jesus has in mind. You are to be the best and noblest elements of society. You are salt in that manner. Scattered all around and stirred in – a flavor that cannot be missed. In a world that is so desperately in need, if the church (you or I) is present, no one should ever have to say, “Pass the salt.”
In the same way, lost travelers are always looking for a land mark to find their way. Jesus has placed His own beacons strategically on a hill. Not to be fortified or unapproachable, just up where people can find it.
If someone stumbles into this city they should find good works: healing, help, provision, mercy – people who bring honor to the owner of the city.
“Nil utilius sole et sale”. “There is nothing more useful than sunlight and salt,” wrote he Roman scholar Pliny the Elder (23-79 C.E.).*
Well said, Pliny, well said.