A fundamental question of this life is “Who you gonna believe?”.
It has been around since the Garden of Eden, and the choices remain unchanged. Either you believe the words of the One who cannot lie (Titus 1:2), or you believe the words of the one who is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). You cannot believe both.
Consider the final beatitude and Jesus’ additional instruction concerning persecution in Matthew 5:10-12; it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the opinion Satan and his human allies have of righteous people is quite low. In their eyes, God’s people deserve horrific mistreatment. A former Humanist of the Year—Ted Turner—once declared “Christianity is for losers.” In recording the world’s opinion of Christ’s apostles, Paul’s pen wrote such defamatory words as: “spectacle”, “fools”, “weak”, “dishonored”, “beaten”, “reviled”, “persecuted”, “defamed”, “the filth of the world”, and “the offscouring of all things” (1 Corinthians 4:9-13). Evil exercises no restraint in spewing out and acting upon its vile opinion of the righteous.
In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus uses two of His generation’s most valuable treasures to communicate the high opinion heaven has of those living righteously on earth: “You are the salt of the earth” and “You are the light of the world”. The latter metaphor is probably more self-explanatory, so consider the weightiness of the first.
In Jesus’ day, salt was a most precious and important treasure. “Salt routes” ran from Africa to India, and huge sums of money were paid for “pure” salt. Because of the lack of refrigerators and freezers, preservation of food was nigh impossible without salt.
Satan says the righteous are the dregs of the dregs of society, the lowest of the lowest, the worst untouchables of the untouchable. Jesus says the righteous are of inestimable value.
Who you gonna believe?