Fourth Sunday before Lent 9.2.14 Matthew 5: 13-20

3 02 2014

Salt, Light and Law

Jesus uses familiar images to reinforce his message, but then is surprisingly strong about keeping the law.


To help give shape to the reflection here are three types of question: head questions, heart questions and hand questions. They are about our intellectual response, our emotional response and our practical or behavioural response. I hope that you will want to work at all three levels.

Head Questions

  1. Light is an obvious image of enlightenment.  But why salt?
  2. How do good works “glorify”?
  3. What does Jesus mean by “righteousness” in verse 20?

Heart Questions

  1. Do you feel more affirmed or challenged by this passage?
  2. How do you feel about the law from which “not one stroke of a letter will pass”?
  3. What’s the emotional impact on you of the talk of “greatest” and “least” in the kingdom of heaven?

Hand Questions

  1. How can you be more like salt?
  2. What could it look like if you put your lamp on a lampstand?
  3. What do you need to do to align your own life more closely to “the law”?


These questions are intended to challenge you to engage more closely with the passage and to hear and feel what it has to say to you. That’s more than a five-minute task. And so is the follow-up, working out what you might want to say to others as a result of engaging with the passage with head, heart and hands. Take your time.




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