Sometimes when Jesus speaks, your ears tingle a little bit. In Matthew  5 Jesus said, “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees…you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Every good Lutheran who hears that should practically fall out of their pew. It sounds like Jesus is telling you and me that we need to do something in order to get into heaven; that we need to earn our forgiveness. Has Jesus just spoken blasphemy? Your ears tingle when Jesus speaks those words because they think they are hearing something contrary to what they’ve heard from Jesus in the past. Didn’t Jesus earn heaven for me? Didn’t Jesus do all the work so that I wouldn’t have to?

Yes, but Jesus also knows our tendency. He knows how easily we take his work for granted. He knows how stubborn our good Lutheran hearts can be. So fickle and so stubborn, in fact, that we need to be told over and over again that God’s laws still apply to us; that from a certain point of view we do need to work for our salvation; that we are saved by faith alone but that faith is never by itself; that Jesus wants us to be noticeable. He calls us salt and light for a reason folks: be noticeable for Christ. It's about being noticeable because Christ has fulfilled God’s law for you by keeping it perfectly. It's about being noticeable because with Christ you can keep those laws, too.

You see, this isn’t about earning forgiveness, it is showing how you have already been forgiven. So go and make it known by how you live.