Salt, Light and the City on the Hill

馬太福音5:13-16 分享

溫正祥 John Wen, 3/25/2012

These verses have been puzzling to me. Salt is salt, it will never lose savor. It is used to season and preserve food. What about the light and the city on the hill? How they are fitted in with salt in these verses? Meditating on the preceding beatitudes (5:3-12) many times before, till now I get this in the following to share with you. Praise the Lord!


5:14 你們是世上的光.城造在山上、是不能隱藏的。

5:15 人點燈、不放在斗底下、是放在燈臺上、就照亮一家的人。

5:16 你們的光也當這樣照在人前、叫他們看見你們的好行為、便將榮耀歸給你們在天上的父。

你們是世上的鹽.鹽若失了味、怎能叫他再鹹呢(太5:13) 。鹽就是鹽, 不會失味的。原來鹽的另一涵意乃指慎重及精明1, 意味著世人看我們因遵守耶穌的登山寶訓便能深謀遠慮的善過日子而享有八福的快樂人生。但我們要是愚拙得2不知、也行不出八福的道理,  對世人沒用,  也叫他們看不起我們, 更會把我們踩在腳底下。

活在八福的人生裡,  我們成了世上的光給人指出方向和帶出盼望。我們也像是曠野裡座立在山上的城,  舒適有安全, 令人響往想來同住。

燈要發光, 就不可窩在籃裡, 要放在台上。我們的光也當這樣照在人前, 叫人們看見我們的好行為,  便將榮耀歸給我們在天上的父。

1. (Greek Strong #217): is salt and figuratively means prudence.

2. 鹽若失了味(3471,3474): means to lose savor and figuratively, become a fool. Paul used this Greek word () twice to point out people’s foolishness in Rom 1:22 and 1 Cor 1:20.

As we are the salt of the world, it also figuratively means people regarding us living with prudence1 by following  Jesus’ beatitude for guidance. But if we become fool2 in not having  God’s wisdom of his beatitudes applying to our lives, we are useless to the world. People disrespect us and trample us as a mat.

By following Jesus’ beatitudes, we become the light of the world in giving people direction and hope.  And the safety and comfort place like a city on the hill in the wildness attracting people to come to stay with us.

For the light to be useful, we don’t put it under a basket, but placing on a lamp stand to give light to all in the house. Likewise, we should have good deeds before people so that they will give honor to our God in heaven.

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