A Look in the Mirror: A Look Out the Window

June 25, 2017 | Tom Swanson | Matthew 5:13-16


Getting Acquainted

1) The passage we looked at this week focuses on salt and light. Go around the circle in your group and see how many English expressions you can come up with that utilize one of those two concepts. For example, in the message I referred to the saying, He is worth his salt. How many can you come up with and what do those expressions mean?

Getting into the Bible

2) We buy salt at the grocery store without a second thought. However, in the Biblical era salt wasn’t only a precious commodity, but full of meaning. A covenant at that time was an agreement between two parties that spoke of friendship, cooperation or the putting away of enmity. With that in mind, read Ezra 6:8-10, Leviticus 2:11-13, Numbers 18:19-20 and 2 Kings 2:19-22. What do these uses of salt mean on a deeper level? Now read Mark 9:50 and Colossians 4:5-6. What does this symbolic reference to salt tell us about how we are to relate to others?  

3) Almost all people enjoy the great benefit of light. Our only experience with total darkness may be from a visit to a cave. So we generally take light for granted. This can be true spiritually as well. Read Matthew 4:12-16; Luke 1:76-79; and John 1:1-9, 8:12, 12:35-36 and 12:46. What is said about Jesus and light in these verses? What does light do for people who are in darkness? What is Jesus claiming about himself with this imagery? What does this mean for the believers who have Christ living in them?

Working it out in Life

4) Is there anything from last week’s sermon on Matthew 5:13-16 that you really want to talk about with the group?

5) Jesus tells us that we are the salt of the earth. How might we fulfill our calling to be salt in school, the workplace, the neighborhood or community? Are there some tangible examples you can cite? How have you been able to ensure that your speech is always gracious, seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6)?

6) Jesus tells us that we are the light of the world. Are there times that we want the world to be the place that is full of light? How might we react at those times? What can we do to correct that mistaken mindset?

Digging Deeper

7) Jesus said that the focus of our life should be to bring glory to God (Matthew 5:16). What do you think that might look like? How can you tell if your life is bringing glory to God? Is that focus at odds with having people praise you for the good things they see in your life?

8) What is the darkest relational sphere in your life? Is it with family, friendships, work, school, or in the neighborhood? How can you bring the bright light of the gospel to shine in that dark area?

9) Do people in your school, workplace, and neighborhood know that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ? In what ways have you communicated this (been salt and light) to those who know you? What can you do to be more public about your faith in Christ?

Series title: A Look in the Mirror

Message 1: June 25, 2017

Message title: A Look Out the Window

Message Scripture: Matthew 5:13-16

Message summary: A bride, a family, a body, a temple, a flock and God’s people. These are all images that lead us to look in the mirror and discover how Christ sees his Church. The pictures build us up, encourage us and make us feel welcome. Then Christ tells us to look at the world in which he’s placed us. He tells us to be salt and light to the people around us. And what else can we do? We must say, It would be an honor to do what you’ve asked us to do!


1) Sprinkling the salt   5:13

2) Shining the light   5:14-16