The essence of salt and the nature of light.
We were created to need it. It’s not our only need, but we die without it.
The physical universe begins with light, for God spoke and gave it birth, it was day one. Not till the fourth day were the sun and moon purposed for day and night.
The light came first.
Jesus proved his authenticity by healing and he revealed his identity by the Scriptures. They recognized him as the Messiah, for his miracles and teaching were as the prophets predicted. They believed.
He launched his ministry by offering gifts to the disenfranchised. There were eight gifts in all. He said that blessings would come by having them. There were correlating actions or attitudes for each one. For example, those who mourned would be comforted, the merciful would receive mercy, and so forth.
The final gift was unique because there wasn’t a correlating action associated with it. The gift wasn’t given because of what they did, but because of what others would do:
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Salt & Light
In the context of persecution, he said they were the salt and light of the world, which was about their influence, their message, and a ministry that would bring the persecution. In that context, he cautioned them not to lose their saltiness or to hide their light.
The core meaning: Don’t let persecution leave you unsalted or afraid to shine your light. Discipleship must never hide under a basket.
He reached out to the lost sheep of Israel, to those who were unwanted because of their demon-possession, disabilities, and diseases. They were unclean and defiled. And Jesus came to seek and save them. He restored dignity and divine purpose by declaring them to be salt and light.
He was the Messiah, called Emanuel. He was God among them and he came to save.