SALT AND YEAST FOR GOD'S KINGDOM
Christ’s mandate for His followers to make disciples (Matt. 28:18-20) is a call to us—the Church—to live out the Christian life “in” community, and never in isolation from the people of the world. This understanding of the gospel commission was clearly demonstrated in the lifestyle of the early Christian believers who were intentional in establishing good relationships with their neighbors and communities (Acts 2:47). These men and women understood the words of Jesus well when He said they needed to be “salt” and “yeast” in the world.
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot”
Salt of the Earth
"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot” (Matt. 5:13, NIV). With this metaphor, Jesus masterfully highlighted the subtle but powerful effect of salt in everyday living and especially when used in food. I remember how, in my childhood, living in Samoa, we used salt to mask the sourness of unripe mangoes when we decided to eat them green. Salt in those situations changed the taste of an unwanted sour mango to something delicious and now appealing for eating. The call by Christ for His immediate followers, the twelve disciples, to be “salt of the earth” was a challenge for them to be a force for good in the world. The call implied that following Him is not a passive, uneventful experience, but an intentional, active choice to live out the Christian life as a positive influence in human communities. It also implies that choosing to be a disciple of Christ means that we have something important to contribute, i.e. Jesus, and that we’re willing to share Him with the world through our active engagement with others. This is stewardship in action.
Yeast of the Kingdom
“He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough" (Matt. 13:33, NIV). On the surface, this parable of Jesus may look contradictory because of the imagery used—the yeast —which in other parts of the Bible is used as a symbol of sin and evil (Mk 8:5). But when taken in this context, which includes the parable of the mustard seed (Matt. 13:31,32), the message and meaning of the yeast, here, becomes clear. Like yeast in the dough, God’s Kingdom brings about growth and change, and we know that this effect is the work of God Himself in us. This change does not take place in a vacuum, however. It happens through the lives of God’s people in community with others. By living as faithful stewards and disciples in the marketplace of life, we become transforming agents of God’s Kingdom. More importantly, when God acts and when God initiates change, His power can be felt and experienced even in the most secular human society.
It suggests that it is okay for Christians to wisely and prudently apply their investment skills in the business sector of this world.
Waiting with Dividends
In response to the questions asked by his disciples about the end of the world and His second coming (Matt. 24:3), Jesus told them the parable of the “talents” or money. While the primary message remains the same, i.e. that Jesus is coming again, there is also a secondary message and application with regards to financial stewardship in the marketplace. It suggests that it is okay for Christians to wisely and prudently apply their investment skills in the business sector of this world. It is alright to be out there in Wall Street, all the while also being the salt and yeast in the mix which may result in the changing of someone’s life and move them towards Christ. The call to be a disciple of Jesus is a gospel mandate to be a faithful steward in any of life’s vocations, and at all times and in all places; and that our hope and waiting for the return of the Owner must not be an excuse to disengage ourselves from the general populace and human society. In the broad view of Christian stewardship, waiting for Jesus' return means that we will be working faithfully for Him until He comes.