It’s no accident that Jesus compares his disciples to salt and light immediately following the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes explain what you will be like when you have matured and found your purpose for existing. You are a piece in the puzzle that brings harmony and unity in the world.
Salt makes everything it comes into contact with taste better. Disciples are to bring out the flavor of every person or situation they encounter. If you don’t improve your environment, but instead, criticize and demean everything, you’ve lost your flavor. If you don’t have any flavor, others will reject your advice or example.
Light shines itself on a path so others can see the right way to walk or live. Light shines on the path. It doesn’t form a bolt of lightning, carve it on tablets of stone, and force anyone to walk it. That’s using negative energy to advance a personal agenda.
The concept of heaven and earth passing away is misunderstood. If heaven is going to pass away, that leaves no place for us to live when we die.
Only in the last few years did I come across information about the heavens and the earth passing away that opened my way of thinking about it.
There are several ways to interpret the phrase, but what makes sense in this context is to understand it as – a metaphor. Imagine that. The destruction of heaven and earth refers not to the physical universe, but to the passing of the disobedient nation of Israel…which happened when the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE.
In Bible figurative language, “heavens” refers to governments and rulers, and “earth” refers to the nation or people. Once the old Israel passed away, then some of the jots and tittles of the law – the ones that were hurting people – started to be removed. Thank heavens.
I mention this in my newest book that’s not quite finished, In Living Color: Heaven. In the book I explain how the phrase “kingdom of heaven” is actually a reference to the creative effort to bring unity and harmony in the world—today…as if it were “at hand.”
Those who would break any of the commandments in force in 30 CE would be disrupting the harmony of the system that had built old Israel as a nation. If you followed those commandments, you would be called great in keeping harmony at that time. If not, then you’d be least in the movement toward peace and harmony.
Yet Jesus did not literally follow “the Law and the Prophets.” If he didn’t mean the law of Unity, or the law of Love, which are metaphors for the spirit of the law, then he was being prophetic. Jesus was telling the disciples he was about to become “least” in the continuation of harmony for the legalists. He was going to drive them nuts.
Jesus concluded his lesson to the disciples saying, You’ve got to do what is right and good for all people. Forget the Pharisees. Be salt and light. Then you will find peace and harmony – first within yourself, and then you will bring greater harmony into the world…and you will be blessed (coming to maturity, ripeness, completion).