Salt & Light

Tobi Shotayo
2 min readOct 24, 2023

Jesus, being a master communicator, made use of metaphors quite often and the thing about metaphors is they make language colourful by applying the attributes of one thing to another unrelated thing in order to make a comparison.

In Matthew 5:13-16, Christ uses the metaphors of salt and light to describe the believer.

“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.
Matthew 5:13‭-‬16 NIV

But what did He mean?

Salt in the ancient world was very valuable and sometimes was used to pay Roman soldiers which is where the phrase "worth his salt" originates from.

So in one sense, in making this comparison Christ is speaking of how precious and valuable the believer is.

Most importantly, however, salt brings flavour and makes food better. So in another sense, the believer brings the flavour of God to a bland and tasteless world.

With Light, the inference is clear. Light brings clarity and direction. Just as no one lights a lamp and hides it, as children of God we must shine the light of God to a dark world.

And Christ makes it clear that we do this through our good deeds. That in seeing these good deeds they will know it is the result of God's work in our lives and glorify Him. In living righteously we will make the world better, and in living righteously, we show others the right way to live.