This passage is referred to as “The Great Commission.” These were the last words of Jesus before His ascension to heaven, which makes them crucial for that reason alone. But these are also very important words because they contain Christ’s final instructions to His Church, which is to “go and make disciples of all nations” (verse 19). Jesus says in Matthew 5:13-16:
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.
Every local church is a visible expression of the universal Church and every Christian is a visible expression of Christ in his or her world–that’s why the idea of being salt and light is huge. If we’re to be salt, getting out of the shaker is crucial. Salt is great and being in the shaker is fine, but it isn’t until we get out of the shaker that we’re being used.
When we (as Christians) leave the church on Sunday, Jesus goes with us. This means that Jesus shows up in homeroom on Monday morning, Jesus goes to basketball practice, Jesus goes to El Paisano after church, Jesus clocks in at 7 or 8 a.m. tomorrow morning, Jesus works at Subway, the mall, city hall, and the hospital… He shows up all across Winston-Salem. When that Body is multiplied all around the world, Jesus shows up in His power and glory in all kinds of places all over the world.
The underlying meaning behind the analogy of salt is the strong, tasteful, and distinct contrast that it has with everything around it. It speaks of a life that’s been changed by the Gospel so that belief and transformation line up. This is what this Scripture is noting… where there is belief but no transformation… it’s worthless!
A friend of mine who pastors in Ohio posted something on facebook a couple months ago — I like it and want to share it… He wrote, “Christians are like manure: spread them out and they help everything grow better, but keep them in one big pile and they stink somethin awful.”
How is Jesus’ last phrase in the Great Commission a confidence builder in terms of service for Him? (verse 20)
What keeps you from being a more active witness for Christ?
On what basis did Jesus send His disciples into the world? (verse 18)
Given Christ’s authority, is this a suggestion or a command?
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.