17. Are You Worth Your Salt?
Matthew 5:13 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.
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, where-with shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Jesus was talking to a multitude of people here. He spoke of nine “blesseds”
He was talking about people who would be blessed for their heart intentions. In verse 10-12, He was specifically referring to people who are persecuted because they follow Jesus.
Each example was not a high ranking official, or famous person, or well-known individual. The ones He spoke of are mostly behind the scenes; working on things in their hearts and for the good of others.
He told them that these people have a reward in heaven; just like the prophets of old.
Now He was addressing the specific ones He was speaking about: The persecuted ones. The ones that would chose to follow Him, the ones with a reward in heaven.
He makes the statement “Ye are the salt of the earth.” Did you know that salt was used for a purpose other than preserving food during Christ’s time?
It was also used as fertilizer.*
Maybe, then, when Christ says we should be the salt of the earth, He is asking us to not only preserve through preventing decay, but also fertilize by stimulating growth.
Earth is translated from the Greek word γής, which means “land suitable for growing crops,” making that interpretation seem even more valid.
It also corresponds with Christ’s statement about salt in Luke 14:35, “but if the salt have lost his savour, it [...] is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the manure [a fertilizer]; but men cast it out.” Fertilizer is used to stimulate plant growth, improve soil conditions, and replenish essential nutrients.
Maybe, then, by Christ saying we are the salt of the earth, Christ is asking us to be the fertilizer that helps those around us grow, improves their conditions, and replenishes their weary spirits.
Replenish, nourish, and encourage today.
Remember, “We are all just walking each other home.” (Ram Dass)
*Reference: “Soil, Salt, Savior” Eugene Deatrick in Biblical Archeology
How important is salt? Wow! That is a loaded question! What happens if you do not eat salt? Verywillfit.com says “With hyponatremia, the extreme loss of sodium (salt) can trigger symptoms ranging from muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness to shock, coma, and death…
The crowd knew the value of salt. It preserved food so it can last longer, especially important for life and for travel in that time. It was also important for feeding armies too. Salt was used to trade, so it was considered a viable form of currency. It was not as abundant as it is today. In other words, Jesus got their attention when he mentioned salt!
Salt of this time period would have been impure. There could be other things in salt that would make it less valuable and less likely to do its job of flavoring or preserving foods. This would have be extremely disappointing to the person who was depending on the salt to do its job. Salt then could lose its savor by being wet or moist, or if had been cut with something else by the shopkeepers to make more money by it. Hence it is of no use, good for nothing, just cast it out into the street and let men walk on it.
Jesus was talking about His people. Much like salt, they have value, and add value to things, they preserve the truth, don’t mix it with cheap stuff, or water it down. Then the salt, or His people, will not have any flavor, no zeal, no inspiration, and no value. If the person loses his saltiness, how will he be salted? Or be salting?
This is an identity thing. Jesus was saying this person who was persecuted, is like salt in value, currency, and preservation. He is naming him salt. But if he gets watered down, mixed with something else of less value and flavor, his heart intentions have changed, he has no value, no currency, no preservation-- No kingdom value. Because at this point you would have to go out and buy more salt to do the job that is in front of you.
The question to you is this: But if the salt have lost his savor, where-with shall it be salted?
Let’s rephrase it so we can understand this question for us today. It is interesting that Jesus uses the word “his” instead of “its” here. He is definitely talking about a person not salt!
With that information and the fact that Jesus is after our hearts today, just like He was after their hearts back on this mountain.
If you start out with zeal for Jesus, and then that zeal wanes, gets mixed with self, or other distractions, and you lose your flavor, savor, or zesty-ness for life, where can you get salty again? There is only one place. That is with Jesus and His Word. But if this is a deep heart issue, against Jesus, maybe it cannot be refreshed or restored.
Salt without saltiness is like a person without a purpose, or a person that has lost his zest for living. That person has lost his value as a person of the kingdom of God. (Ouch!)
Where are you? Have you lost your enthusiasm for life, for the gospel of Christ? Did something else get mixed into your purpose for living that has devalued you?
I have noticed that I have spent too much time on my FB, and IG accounts lately with no benefits to others or to me. My focus has been shifted to letting “stuff” into my head that I don’t need. It has been filling my mind up to the point I can not sleep well at night. What value does that add to me as a person and what value can I convey to other’s lives, if I am deplete of fullness or living water, or salt for that matter?
If your life has been affected by this blog post, please leave me a message about the changes you experienced. Thank You!