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Bible with Cross ShadowDid you know that the Bible was not written in chapter and verse form? Chapters were first introduced in 1227, by Stephen Langton. Verse divisions were introduced by Robert Stephanus in 1551. Chapter and verse divisions were added for the convenience of reference and quotation purposes.

However, “it must always be remembered that the divisions into chapters and verses are human-made. They are sometimes arbitrary, and they sometimes interfere with the sense of the passage. The divisions into chapters and verses can actually cause some problems.” See BlueLetterBible.org FAQ by Don Stewart for more on the challenges that chapter and verse introduce in Bible interpretation.

Having chapter and verse divisions certainly makes it easier to find passages and direct others to them. It also makes for convenience in summarizing a series on “These Sayings of Mine”. So, with care to avoid any problems such delineation may cause, here is a brief summary of Matthew, chapter 5. Read the rest of this entry »

Bible with Cross ShadowYou are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16

In this saying of Jesus, He moves from the potential conditions of the Beatitudes – states of being that are only possible through His life – to the absolute reality of our existence as salt and light. Notice He did not say His disciples “would be” salt and light. Here, at the beginning, without training and revelation, without death, burial and resurrection, they are salt and light; as are we.

This reminds me that it was soon after calling them that Jesus sent them to preach the gospel of the kingdom to the surrounding towns and villages (Mark 6:7-12). Apparently, their willingness to follow Him created, or released, something in their being. There is a very powerful suggestion here that a follower of Jesus Christ can be immediately effective in ministry. If it was true for the first disciples, how much more for those that have His resurrected life and the Holy Spirit’s power?

So, what do we “do” with these salt and light sayings? Let me suggest a few things for your prayerful consideration: Read the rest of this entry »

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