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AGENTS OF CHANGE

Change is seldom easy, and Jesus knew this. While addressing the cost of being a true disciple, He shared an illustration about salt. "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?” (Lk. 14:34). Jesus knew that the changes that were needed

could not be legislated. He sought to

develop a new kind of disciple to help pave the way. They were to become agents of change. He worked to set into action a new set of

values and for this to happen He needed to prepare the disciples for a new way

of thinking and living. He led the way. The challenge of

values continues today. This issue of the Dynamic

Steward
is about “Stewards of Influence” and salt is an

insightful metaphor for agents of change.  



The verses leading

to the salt illustration make it clear that Jesus sought to influence, and

bring about a change, in the values cherished by the disciples. Later their own words indicated that He had

been successful when they admitted that they had something more valuable than

“silver and gold” to offer (Acts 3:6). Their encounter with Jesus changed their orientation, their

priorities and, certainly, their worldview. The context of the salt

illustration was all about being willing to sacrifice, but it hardly seemed

sacrificial to them now. They had learned the same values that helped

Christ withstand His wilderness temptations (Lk. 4). Power, recognition,

success and comfort were not the decision-makers for Him. Jesus made it clear that there were only two

things that really mattered in His life—God and people. He was willing to endure hardships so that

God and people might be honored, even if it created a disadvantage for

Himself. He came as a servant for both,

and this put Him at odds with the Pharisees in at least three ways.



Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?"

Luke

First, while the

Pharisees focused on oral traditions regarding purification, Jesus focused on

the “more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness” (Mt.

23:23). Secondly, though Jesus was

active in Sabbath services, religious activity was no substitute for

demonstrating that everyone is someone to God, regardless of how society or

culture might see them. A third

distinctive value that was evident in the life of Jesus was that, by coming to

Him, all would be treated like royalty.

He treated everyone who was willing to listen, as if they had untapped

potential. Despite His holiness, sinners

of all types were drawn to Him.



The influence of

Jesus changed lives and gave hope, not only to those in His generation, but to

ours as well. Being fashioned by Jesus

into His image is radical. Without this departure from conventional values, the Pharisees

were not only without personal peace, but also without a message to share.



Jesus sought to change this, and to do so, He called and prepared

a corps of disciples to become agents of change. Salt does very little in isolation. Salt serves, salt enhances, salt preserves

but salt’s purpose is always found in relationship with something or

someone. Influence comes not from a

desire to be “influential” but from what one is and is becoming. Biblical stewards become stewards of

influence because two things matter to them:

God and people. It is then that

salt becomes flavourful.

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