In each case Jesus simply declares that his disciples are salt and light. He does not tell them to become such; they are such. They are such because they possess the presence of Christ himself in their lives. In John 8:12 Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.” But here he says, “You are the light of the world.” The rest of the passage has to do with righteousness, the very righteousness which is to permeate our witnessing. The position of Jesus concerning righteousness is distinguished from that of the scribes and the Pharisees: “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” The righteousness of the Christian must go beyond theirs. Today righteousness means things like virtue, correctness, and uprightness. It has a narrow, moralistic connotation. It is a static term. But, righteousness has a broader meaning in the Bible. It is dynamic not static. Certainly it has a moral meaning. But it has the equal connotation of one’s being in the business of making things right—right between God and persons, and between persons and their neighbors. And so our text goes on to say that the unrighteous person is one who insults his brother, while the righteous one gets reconciled with his brother before offering a gift at the altar. The Pharisees had righteousness in a static sense, but they were the “separated ones.” They were not in the business of bringing about reconciliation or wholeness in society. The followers of Jesus, by contrast, are to exceed the Pharisees in righteousness—not righteousness in the static sense of setting up regulations which one observes, and then is called righteous by his fellows, but righteousness in the dynamic sense. Christians are not called to display virtue; they are called to be salt, light, and leaven in society.