■■■■■† 화란한인교회에 오신 것을 환영합니다. 암스테르담, 암스텔담, 암스텔빈, 암스텔펜 한인교회 †■■■■■
English Sermon ('19.04.28) Salt that Lost its Taste
2019-05-01 01:59:38, view [
Salt that Lost its Taste
28.4.2019 Korean Reformed Church in the Netherlands
13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16)
Jesus said “you are the salt of the earth!’ So we have willed ourselves to do the duties of the salt. Salt preserves. So as the disciples of Jesus we thought we should preserve the world that we would not become corrupt. Salt brings flavour. So we had to do meaningful things so as to make the world flavoursome place to live.
Jesus added to it, “you are the light of the world.” We also had to give light so that the city on a hill will not be hidden. Maybe that was why there are so many churches named ‘Salt and Light Church,’ ‘Light and Salt Church’ or ’Salis Lux Church’ etc., not to mention publication called ‘Light and Salt’
Do you remember the numerous red crosses that illuminates the night skyline of Seoul? Has the church really given light to the world and make it a flavoursome place to live? Are Christians still giving light? Has the salt not lost the taste?
Calling us the salt, Jesus adds on to explain what kind of salt we are, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?” He is pointing out that we are the salt that lost its taste! Salt but salt that is not salty! So not for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet!
Similarly, Jesus also calls us the light of the world. But out light is so timid and out of place, the Lord tells us that our light should not be placed under a basket. If we are we the light, it should be placed on a stand, shedding its light to the people of the world, Jesus criticises.
In another words, when Jesus called us the salt and the light, He is telling us what state we are in at the moment, rather than giving us an advice to bring flavour and give light. Thus, Jesus is telling us that we are the salt but a kind that lost its taste already; the light but a kind that is placed under a basket.
This is our whereabouts that is exposed by Jesus’ coming. We have been pretending so far. Jesus came onto earth in order to perfect the Law. He sharpened the blades of the Law and diagnosed us again. So, it turns out: when we did not have Jesus, we thought we were the light that gave light to the world. But placed before the perfected Law, we are but just like the salt that has lost the taste.
Think of the Dead Sea. How salty the water must taste! You would think the salt we have is not salty at all in comparison. Before, we thought we ourselves preserved the world from corruption, cleansed accumulated evil, practise righteousness. But before Jesus, what we call righteousness in us is like a worn-out garment.
In Isaiah 50:9, the prophet says, “Behold, the Lord God helps me; who will declare me guilty? Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.” Psalms and Hebrews have similar words too.
“They[heaven and earth] will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.” (Ps.102:26,27; Heb.1:11,12)
In fact, this is a comparison between the Creator and creature. That is to say, before the LORD our righteousness is a garment eaten by the moth; our light is darkness before Him. So, Daniel has said, standing before God, “So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed [Heb. my splendour was changed to ruin], and I retained no strength.”
How many times do we see similar things in the world! When Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem, so many people came out to cheer Him with palm branches in their hands, spreading their garments on the street. Until then, we thought they, who lived in Jerusalem, were the salt and the light. We applauded the passion that welcomed Jesus and the care that took off and spread the garments.
But in a few days’ time, their identity is revealed. They were turned into an angry mob shouting “Crucify him!” on top of their voices. With Jesus in Jerusalem, their true nature that had been hidden deep down was brought up to the surface: their true face, that is, the salt that had lost its taste.
Many businesses in the world are praise worthy: that are run for the benefits of orphans, the elderly or disabled. Or nurseries that are nowadays categorised into the educational institution. So we thought those who run such kind of businesses were really the light and the salt of the world.
But under an inspection with a magnifying glass, many parts were revealed as accumulated malice. They used children as a means of making money, and the sort of independency they used to claim was only a way of covering up their crime. Salt they may be, but tasteless salt.
In the same way, what we call ‘righteousness,’ as in the sort of things we have been doing in order to turn the world righteous, bring out the truth, add flavour to the world, give meaning to life, is only a ‘ruin’ with the coming of Jesus. More so, before the Law He has perfected. What used to be considered good have become things that is only good to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
This is exactly the purpose of Jesus’ coming. Things that happen because Jesus has come and perfected the Law. In other words, after a long waiting and suffering, God has restored the Law to its original intention through Jesus’ coming and examined the world with the restored Law.
But judgement is not over. Before that, God inquires into us so carefully and perfectly, with the Law that has been dusted off and sharpened. As a result, it is revealed that we are the salt that has lost the taste, our light, a sort of light that is confined in a dozen litre cask.
In short, the good deeds we do, the acts of reliving the poor, service, and devotion have been diagnosed as being lesser than the scribes. The Law we keep and practise have been decided to be inferior than that of the Pharisees. Even the service of worship we offer has been revealed to be poorer than the sacrifice of the Jews.
Instead, we have been put in a state as such that with the restored Law of God, even in the middle of a service, we are reminded of a brother we should reconcile with; on the way to the church, we have to look back whether I should have been jailed for anything. You are reminded of the poor you should help in the middle of a sacrifice and of a fight you had, in the middle of a prayer.
This is what happens to us, because Jesus came to earth and sharpened the blade of the Law. Had Jesus not awoken the sleeping Law, we would still have thought that we were the salt; that the good and noble things we do exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees and in turn, good enough to let us enter the kingdom of heaven.
But, when we come and stand before the light of God, every deed of our hand is revealed as wickedness that deserves judgement. All moving words and deeds are only hypocrisy before God. Even greatest sacrifice for others does not qualify as an offering acceptable to God. Just at this point we are divided into two groups.
One is those who say ‘Come Lord Jesus!’ and the other who say the opposite. One pleading for judgement: for Jesus to come and perfect the Law so that all our deeds and sins are exposed and revealed, and we are known to the whole world as the salt only to be trampled under the feet; and the other who plead “it should never happen!”
Jesus was not saying that we would become the salt as a result of any work of good will, evangelising, service or poor relief we might do. We were the salt in the first place. But Jesus is telling us that we, as the salt, fall far too short of the Law that has been perfected by Him, in the function and role. He is pointing out that we do not reach up to the perfectness the Law requires.
Consequently, for us who have the role of giving the taste, it has to be either the standard of the Law that decides the saltiness is relaxed, or we ourselves are re-produced. This is what Jesus has come to. He has perfected the Law. He has tightened the standard and sharpened the blade. In a way, because Jesus has done this, we are left with no other exit.
We, who have lost the taste, have to be trampled, buried into earth, and come out again. A lamp hidden a cask has to be found by someone and put on a stand. In other words, we have to be born again. This is the essence of what is meant by the praise, ‘you are the salt of the earth’ and ‘you are the light of the world.’ We are to be born again.
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