The Little People
You are the salt of the earth. . . . You are the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-14)
They had gathered on the lush, rolling slopes to hear Him. And He stood there on the hill, looking into the eyes of as many of them as He could.
It was a motley group gathered before him. Some were sick and diseased, others suffered seizures and chronic pain, some were paralyzed and a few were even demon possessed (Matthew 4:24). “You are the salt of the earth,” He told them (5:13). Hundreds had gathered there, rushing from all corners of the region to receive His blessing—Jews from Jerusalem and Judea, Gentiles from the Decapolis. “You are the light of the world,” He declared (v.14).
Perhaps he was just being nice. Seriously, what effect could a bunch of peasants have on the world? Timid, insignificant peasants. The Teacher had already “blessed” them as being poor, meek, merciful, humble, sad, and downtrodden (vv.3-11). What kind of influence could such people have on a world that favored power and status? But that’s what He said. They were the salt that preserved and flavored society. They were lights that drew people to God. They would soon turn the world upside down (Acts 17:6).
In our quiet moments of despair, when we feel like nobodies and underachievers—lacking popularity, political power, public profile, thinking we wield no influence on the world and have little to offer God—let’s remember who Jesus proclaimed as the world’s reformers: the little people. Common folk. Farmers. Not the elite or powerful or the brightest in the class. All these little people had was the blessing of Jesus, a holy distinctive they were not to lose (Matthew 5:13), and luminescent deeds of love (v.16).
The currency of influence in God’s kingdom is not position, but glory—the glory of God shining through your life, bringing the world to its knees.
How are you prone to think of yourself as less than Jesus sees you? To what degree are you pursuing a holy, distinct life?