Worksheet 1：The eight religious sentiments
Material 1 - The Characteristics and Symbolic Meanings of being the salt and light of the world
To be the Salt and Light of the World Teacher’s References Material 1 4-1
Material 1 - The Characteristics and Symbolic Meanings of being the salt
To be the Salt and Light of the World Teacher’s References Material 1 4-2
Symbolic Meanings of Salt
1. Being pure and sacrificing oneself: Jesus’ believers are the salt of the earth. They should set an example of keeping themselves pure by keeping a high standard for the way they talk, act and think, so as to live a pure life.
2. Having antiseptic influence on life and defeating corruption: Jesus’ believers should be the cleansing antiseptic in any society. They must fight against the corruption of the world.
They should never collaborate with others to do bad things, but rather make it easier for others to be good.
3. Sacrificing oneself to be a blessing to others: Salt can add flavour to food, so can Jesus’
believers. They can add goodness to the world. Salt can only be used after it is dissolved;
similarly, believers have to sacrifice themselves to be others’ blessings. Rather than being the ones to receive, believers should be the ones to give. They should bring joy to people with Christ’s love.
Like pure salt that never loses its saltiness, Jesus’ believers should never lose the qualities of purity, having antiseptic influence, and adding flavour to life.
To be the Salt and Light of the World Teacher’s References Material 1 4-3
“You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lamp stand, where it gives light for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
Background information of Light
1. Bowls: a utensil for measuring made of earth.
2. In Jesus’ time, the Jews opened the doors to let beams of sunlight in; whereas at night, they lit the oil lamps and placed them on the lampstands on tables or the walls.
3. Since it was not easy to rekindle a lamp before matches were invented, Jews would take the oil lamps from the lampstands and put them under bowls when leaving home for the sake of safety.
Characteristics of Light
Light have the following characteristics:
1. Light enables things to be seen: Light does not hide things up. Rather, it shines to disperse darkness and keeps people away from dangers or tripping in darkness.
2. Light provides guidance: Ships rely on the beams of light while sailing. In the same way, street lights enable the cars and people to travel safely in the city.
3. Light gives warning signals: In times of danger, light warns people to stop going ahead to keep people safe.
Symbolic Meanings of Light
1. Enabling people to see the good things others do: Being the light of the world, Jesus’
believers should be visible to all people. They must shine before the others so that the good things they do can be seen. The Greek word for ‘good’ is kalos, which does not only mean ‘good’ but also ‘attractive’. Therefore, Jesus emphasised that the good things we do must be attractive as well, such that others will be attracted to believing in God.
To be the Salt and Light of the World Teacher’s References Material 1 4-4
2. Making the way clear to others: Light enables people to see clearly what lies ahead and prevents them from getting lost. That is the reason why Jesus taught his followers to be the foci of goodness. They should lead others to protest against bad things.
3. Giving warnings to people: As the light of the earth, Jesus’ believers are responsible for giving friendly reminders and well-intended warnings to others so as to keep people away from dangers and wrongdoings. Such reminders or warnings are not criticisms or condemnation.
Jesus reminded his believers that their identity and presence in the world are like a city on a hill that cannot be hidden. Believers must let others see and experience God from their goodness. Since they are the light of the world, they cannot be hidden from the rest of the world.
Christian faith is not about lighting up oneself, but also lighting up others.
Therefore, believers have to be willing to show their goodness as well as being good testimonies to others in order to shine for God.
1. Barclay, William. (1975). Gospel of Matthew Vol. 1 (Chapter 1 to 10). Philadelphia:
The Westminster Press. pp. 114-122.
To be the Salt and Light of the World Teacher’s References Material 2 2-1
Material 2: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
1. Physiological needs (e.g. food, water, air, sleep, sex)
2. Safety needs
(e.g. security of body, health, employment, property) 3. Needs of love and belonging (e.g. having a supportive and communicative family, love, friendship)
4. Needs for esteem
(e.g. self-confidence, self-respect, dignity, achievements, respect by others)
5. Needs for self-actualisation
6. Needs for self-Transcendence
e.g. going beyond one’s ego, satisfying one’s spiritual needs
e.g. striving to be the best, appreciating life
To be the Salt and Light of the World Teacher’s References Material 2 2-2
1. Physiological needs: the most basic level, e.g. food, water, air, sleep, sex and the dispose of bodily waste.
2. Safety needs: the basic level, e.g. security of body, health, employment, property.
3. Social needs: higher-level needs, e.g. having a supportive and communicative family, love, friendship and other kinds of intimate relationships with people.
4. Needs of love and belonging: higher-level needs, e.g. self-confidence, self-respect, dignity, achievements and respect from others.
5. Needs for self-actualisation: highest-level needs, including striving to be the best, expressing creativity, appreciating life, remaining impartial, feeling closeness to others, and being independent and proactive, etc. This level comes into focus only when the lower-level needs are mostly or entirely satisfied.
6. Needs for self-transcendence: highest-level needs, referring to peak spiritual experiences in life. In such experiences, people transcend their ego and unite with God, the universe and everything on earth.
To be the Salt and Light of the World Teacher’s References Material 3