Often, reading a familiar passage of Scripture in an alternate translation brings new and nuanced insight to the text. Eugene Peterson’s translation of the Bible called “The Message” has been extremely helpful to me (and many others) in this kind of study for the sake of transformation. Below is his translation of the familiar words of Jesus from Matthew 5. Notice how the neighbor-loving and God-revealing purpose of salt and light are brought out of the text:
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
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Tomorrow on the Daily Connection: Who Is My Neighbor?
About the Author
Isaac Gaff is the Managing Director of Worship and Creative Arts at Calvary UMC