How are you? Today, we are going to talk about salt. Yes, salt. What do you think of when you think about salt? For me, I think the first thought is a nice tasty potato chip. Some say salt is bad for you. Others say that salt is yummy. What do you say?
Some Background About the Importance of Salt:
Before we talk about Matthew 5:13, let’s look at some background about salt. In the introduction, I half-heartedly mentioned that salt made me think of a nice tasty potato chip. Some may think that I am a salt-aholic. Some may say that salt isn’t good for you. That is truer for some than for others. However, if you research it, you might find that we all need some salt. I can’t confirm or deny the scientific truth of it, but this post by “Dr. Steven Lin” tells some reasons why we need salt.
Way back in the day, salt was used like money. This post by “Ancient Origins” tells some of the ways in which salt was widely treasured in the ancient world. I found the article really interesting and it even mentions Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:13.
As a matter of fact, the word “salary” that we use today comes from the word salt. Again, salt was used like money or paid as part of a salary for work back in the day. This post by UnitChefs explains it well and also mentions the Bible. In this case, the book of Ezra is mentioned. I find it interesting when you can learn more about biblical times and it is linked to the Bible.
I have also heard that salt is used for healing. Are those “old wives’ tales or is that really true. I can’t remember ever trying it, except to gargle with salt water for a sore throat at times. What about you? Again, I don’t have the knowledge to be able to confirm or deny the truth of it, but this post by “Daily Health Post” mentions many ways in which salt is used for healing or better health.
Still, another use for salt is as preservative. Salt helps to preserve the goodness of food and helps them keep longer without going bad. Hmm. That makes sense. That is why so much of the food we buy has salt added.
Salt of the Earth:
Now, that we know that salt isn’t just bad for us, and in fact has many good qualities, lets ponder Jesus’ words as written in Matthew 5:13. To put it in perspective, Matthew 5:13 comes after the “Beatitudes” in the Sermon on the Mount, which is relayed in Matthew 5-7. Matthew 5:13 (KJV) says, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
So, what do the words in Matthew 5:13 mean? First of all, since Jesus is mainly talking to his followers, we can infer that Jesus was calling all good Christians the “salt of the earth”. That means that you and I are the salt of the earth. But, what does that mean for us? What does that mean to others?
The spiritual connotation and value for salt are much the same as the physical. As mentioned above, salt had financial value in Bible times. It was an important part of trading. So, we can also infer that good Christians are highly valued by Jesus. Of course, he would value his friends and family, right? Don’t we value our friends and family?
Yet, our importance as “salt of the earth” goes much deeper than being on Jesus’ “friends and family list”. As we know, salt is also a preservative. How do we fit in with that use of salt? Well, if you think about it, if Matthew a follower of Christ (and other Bible authors), didn’t write down the words they did that formed the Bible, we probably wouldn’t know about them today. As we read the Bible and pass the “Good News” along to our children, our friends, our relatives, and our “followers”, we might help preserve the word and keep it alive and in the hearts of people we touch. God is the only one who can truly “keep it alive”, because they are His Words, and He is all-powerful. We are not, but we can be helpers in that mission. We can do our part by following God’s Word and will for us, and sharing His Word with others.
Not Being Salt of the Earth:
If we look at Matthew 5:13 (KJV) again, we see what happens if Christians don’t act in such away as to be the “salt of the earth”, “…but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” That doesn’t sound like fun to me. It is great motivation to keep being a good Christian, living a good Christian lifestyle, and preserving God’s Word and the “Good News” by sharing it with others and testifying about how God works in our lives.
I would not want to be “cast out” of Jesus’ “friends and family” list, nor would I want to be “good for nothing”. However, when we don’t go to church, hear sermons, talk with godly people, read the Bible, pray, or do things that brings us closer to God on a regular basis, we tend to lose our way and our momentum for being good Christians. If we don’t practice good spiritual habits, we may lose them and fall away from God day by day. In essence, we cast ourselves out of God’s family, by not actively participating in it.
God’s Word has many verses that talk about salt. Here are just a few of them in KJV.
*Colossians 4:6 – “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye out to answer every man.”
*Mark 9:50 – “Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.”
*Numbers 18:19 – “All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the LORD, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it is a covenant of salt for ever before the LORD unto thee and to thy seed with thee.”
*Leviticus 2:13 – And every oblation of they meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.”
*Genesis 19:26 – “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”
Thank you for your Word and your love. Help us to keep our “saltiness”, so that we can do your will and spread your good news. Help us to enrich and help us to keep our “savour” in order to help in building your kingdom and sharing your words to others. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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