Weekly Blog - Mark Kelly - Called For Mission Part 2
View all blogs
Posted on: 17th August 2022
In the Bible, we find Jesus talks about salt. It should come as no surprise to learn that in the days when Jesus lived, they weren’t any fridges or freezers. Maybe a cold cave here or there, so salt was mainly used to preserve foods and keep them from decaying and falling apart. It helped keep things together. Jesus also spoke about light; He sometimes talked about literal light - candles in people’s houses. We forget how dark the night really is in our wealthy western world. When darkness fell back then, houses got dark, and these candles became the only light source.
When Jesus talks about salt and light (see Matthew 5:13-14), He’s talking about two important things with massive influence. When salt and light come up against something, they improve it and bring positive outcomes. Christ calls each of us, those who call themselves His followers, to be salt and light to this world. You are to be that influence, that situation changer. You’re to bring positive outcomes. Whatever it is or whoever they are, they become better because of your presence, physically or digitally. Your primary calling is to be salt and light in the culture channel you find yourself in (see part 1 of this blog).
In the Bible is the story of a tax collector named Zacchaeus who got rich from being less than honest and exploiting the poor and the oppressed. However, when Jesus comes into Zacchaeus’s life, everything is transformed. Zacchaeus realises his business is based on self-centredness, dishonesty, and lacking honourable integrity. Read what happens after Jesus has entered his house from Luke 19:8:
And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. (Luke 19:8-9 ESV)
Zacchaeus is absolutely transformed! However, let’s be careful not to miss a very noteworthy point of this story amongst all the fantastic things that Zacchaeus declares: Zacchaeus doesn’t appear to stop being a tax collector.
He doesn’t suddenly drop everything and enter into ‘full-time’ ministry - whatever that means! Zacchaeus continues to be a tax collector but becomes a radically different tax collector. Think about how many people looked to him, connected with him, and did business with him. How would they now be influenced by this wildly generous and transformed man?
Think about the recipients of his generosity: the poor and the needy. They suddenly found they had more money in their pocket because they were now paying fair and not excessive taxes. Finally, his family, his household, and his friends must have been impacted positively by this radically transformed man. All this because a man who collected taxes for a living had an incredible, life-changing encounter with Jesus. All this from a man who decided to be salt and light.
You don’t have to work for the local church or a Christian organisation to change the world. After Zacchaeus met Jesus, he took the things he was good at, trained and skilled in, and positively used them.
So what’s your ‘calling’? Maybe your ‘calling’ is to be a Zacchaeus. To be a restorer. To be salt and light exactly where you are.
Mark Kelly, Stories of Faith and Life.