“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” (Matthew 5:13; NIV)
Salt. What an interesting substance, but what is salt?
Recently I was given a smoker. As a hobby cook, I was ecstatic! One of the things I tried my hand at making was beef jerky, which uses a fair amount of salt. I learned that in the pre-refrigeration days, salt was a preservative which, when applied to food, enabled our forefathers to keep their meat from spoiling.
Salt also adds flavor to food. Many folks are on low sodium diets and make conscious efforts to use less salt, whereas others (like myself) tend to perhaps sprinkle a little too much salt on their food. But salt also has another characteristic, and that is that it tends to make us thirsty. Perhaps that is why many bars serve salty snacks to their patrons; it causes them to become thirstier, and therefore buy more beer.
However, like me, I’m sure you’re probably not interested in marketing ploys of drinking establishments, but bear with me; I think it’s relevant to Jesus’ use of the word salt in referring to His followers.
Could it be that when Jesus told those people listening to His “You are the salt of the earth” that He was suggesting that they will be (or ought to be) making the world thirsty for Jesus? Think about that for a minute. Are the people in our little corners of the world, those whose paths cross ours, thirsty for Jesus because of you and me? Hmm, I wonder.
The really troubling thing for me is that I do not see that much in my life or the lives of many other professing Christians. Yea, I know; that’s a giant OUCH! As the old adage says, sometimes the truth hurts.
However, if my interpretation is correct, then even more painful is what Jesus said next. He said, “But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”
I may be wrong, but I cannot help but wonder if the vast majority of problems in the church today, and even in individual Christian lives, is due to salt that has lost its saltiness; that is, lost its testimony. Sometimes I cannot help but wonder if that explains why the Gospel is often “trampled” under the feet of an unbelieving world.
Oh, if only we would all wake up from our lethargy; if only the world would look at Christians and thirst for Jesus.
Something to think about. Peace.