Matthew 5: 13 – “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 underfoot.”
Salt in the Ancient times
For thousands of years, salt has been a great contributor to the development of civilization. Salt is not a spice or herb obtained from plants, instead, it’s an organic mineral.
Its abilities as a preservative and seasoning ingredient; helped in reducing decay and perishability, and made it possible to transport food over long distances, and preserve it for a longer duration too.
In the past, hunters could source salt from meat, but later by following animal tracks they found salts deposits, which gave them a steady source to harvest this precious, yet basic, commodity.
Ancient Israel would rely on the Dead sea and the massive cliffs around its region, as the main source of salt.
Salt in Ancient Israel, as per different Scriptures, (Ezekiel 43:24, Ezekiel 16:4) was vital for religious sacrifices and burning of incense, as well as dressing wounds. For newborn infants, salt would be used to deter uncleanness, prevent putrefaction, dry up the umbilical stump area, and harden flesh.
Salt in the modern era
Nowadays, salt is used in almost everything. From leather tannery to making plastics, glass, and cleaning products. It’s spread on snowy roads and planes for de-icing purposes.
The pharmaceutical companies do include it as part of health essentials when making various drugs.
We all crave salt in our food, and a bland taste is evident without it.
As you’ve noticed, salt is everywhere, yet it seems ordinary and tiny as an add-on.
So then, what did Jesus mean, when He spoke to His Disciples and the Church at large – referring to them as “the salt of the earth”?
It’s important to note that this term was also used together with this one: “Light of the world”.
Jesus talked of salt in relation to the earth – not food or other uses. As a believer, you are changed from the inside out. You don’t live your life dictated by the outside world. Instead, you choose to become the proper reflection in the society and community of people around you.
Colossians 4:6 – “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Mark 9:50 – “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”
The above scriptures in reference to salt, point towards morality defined by good and honest attributes. We ought to become the seasoning ingredient that brings out flavors to a bland situation/relationship.
Also, we ought to speak with careful consideration and intelligence. As salt melts the ice on our roads – our careful words would warm a rather cold and stony heart of a person. Being the salt in this case – would help us get past resistance in reaching out to the brokenhearted that hate almost everyone around them.
When salt loses its flavor, it becomes meaningless. This is a warning, that salt can become diluted and lose its abilities. In a world full of wickedness and evil, if we (Christians) are not careful – we’d find ourselves unknowingly abandoning the gospel, and becoming “adulterated” with worldliness.