The Salt of the Earth: Matthew 5:13
““13) You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” Matthew‬ ‭5:13‬
Good salt was highly valued in the ancient world. It was used in the cooking industry as both seasoning and as a preservative. It was also essential in the tanning industry for making leather products. It furthermore was recognized for its medicinal value to fight infections way before the science of germs and bacteria were discovered.
In some cases salt was used as money and traded for goods and services. Hence we have the old adage of “not being worth your weight in salt.” If your weight in salt had more value than your labor, you were viewed as unemployable.
But salt has an inherent problem, it can go bad and become tasteless. It is water soluble and can be degraded by excess moisture. Bad salt was viewed as worthless. It had only one use, it was carefully thrown into pathways to retard the growth of grass and weeds. That’s right, it was used as a herbicide to prevent plant growth. Discarding bad salt was actually problematic because it could spoil otherwise fertile ground. Invading armies sometimes salted fertile ground to leave it barren.
This analogy that Jesus used now takes on specially meaning. As long as His people displayed godly character as expressed in the Beatitudes, they are like highly valued salt in society. They made everything look better, smell better and taste better. They were highly valued.
But when God’s people are filled with sin, hypocrisy and bad attitudes, they are like bad salt that is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. There is sometimes a reason why they world seems to be “stepping on Christians.” Some are not worth their weight in salt! They have become tasteless and odious.
Unfortunately because of my itinerant ministry, I have met more than my share of them. Sadly, some leave such a foul taste in my mouth, I go out of my way to avoid them. I cannot afford the negative drag they cause to my spirit and soul. It is nearly impossible to persuade them that they are not suffering for righteousness sake, they are suffering because they have terrible attitudes, worthless people skills and leave a distorted Christian persona.
Unfortunately, they are often the ones that shape and define Christianity for the world. If you are one of them, repent! You are damaging the cause of Christ!
But godly, virtuous and mature Christians are invaluable for society. They are the salt of the earth. I recently read one agnostic sociologist acknowledge this crucial point. He argued that true Christianity fills an indispensable role in the world to hold evil in check. He than added that if they all suddenly vanished, society would need to reinvent them or face inevitable doom.
What kind of salt are you?
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global