“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.
“Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt?”
Followers of Jesus are the salt of the earth…we are sprinkled throughout the planet to make it more palatable to God. And like salt, we preserve the planet. We kill disease (evil) in the world and prevent it from spreading. Just like how people salt their meat to prevent rot as a way of preserving it, so too does a follower of Jesus “preserve” the earth and prevent it from “rotting”. And Christ‘s true servants are the means by which God will preserve this entire earth!
Christ commissioned His followers to preach the Gospel to the entire world as a witness, to go to all nations carrying the truth of His way of life. It is this way of life that will bring real freedom to the entire world…
But, one thing most people don’t understand about this verse is that what Jesus is saying here is not possible…salt doesn’t go bad…it cannot lose it’s savour. Salt mines are often THOUSANDS of years old and even salt that you buy from the store will remain salty for many many many years after purchase….so, logic dictates the question “What does Jesus mean when he says …’but if the salt has lost it’s savour’?
Have you ever gotten salt in an open wound? Stings like hell, doesn’t it? Every person on the earth is like a walking open wound in a way, no one is healed…all are damaged in one way or another and our “wounds” are a direct result of sin…our own or someone elses. We Christ Followers are to be as SALT in those open walking wounds, drawing out the disease (sin) and purifying the wound, helping it to heal.
“For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. 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.” ~Mark 9:49-50
“Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.“
I always get so annoyed with modern day “christian” preachers who go off on this verse saying that “seasoned with salt” means that our words must taste good…like food seasoned with salt tastes good (there goes that uniquely “american” over-fascination with food again 🙄 )….when in reality what is being said here is the exact OPPOSITE. It says “let your speech be alway with GRACE”…which is LOVE (like Charity, which is love in action) “seasoned with salt” which is the TRUTH.
Salt = TRUTH
And just like salt in an open wound…the TRUTH hurts! But it heals..
When Jesus says “but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?” what he is saying is if His Children lose their ability to discern truth from a lie, right from wrong…in essence, if they lose hold of HIM…who is The Way, Truth (salt) and The Light (we are also called Light…a city on a hill, a candle on a lampstand etc.) then they have lost their savour. They no longer sting! And if they no longer sting, if they no longer bring healing, what good are they??
I like Luke’s version of the story best, he says:
“…It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
And I daresay that this is what has happened to the mainstream “christian” church here in america…the salt has lost it’s savour and been cast out by men. Unbelievers do not take the “church” seriously because it has lost it’s power because it does not live IN Christ THROUGH Christ AS CHRIST…it has lost it’s saltness. Instead, like a harlot, it claims to be His Bride but in the back room it cavorts with The World to receive trinkets, money, power, position etc…..”white washed sepulchers full of dead men’s bones” that on the surface appear beautiful and good but in reality are full of DEATH. A doubleminded man is unstable in all his ways…But I digress…
My favorite, and the most distinctive, quality of salt is that it makes people thirsty 😀
There is an old saying: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”
Well, this saying is not altogether true. You may not be able to force a horse to drink by pushing its head down toward the water, but you can make it thirsty enough to want to drink. A small salt tablet placed in the horse’s mouth will quickly change its mind!
In the same way, your presence is intended by God to make the people around you thirsty for the presence of God. As a spiritual seasoning in a tasteless world and as a supernatural preservative in a decaying society, you are the salt of this earth. In the words of Henry van Dyke:
“Christ chose an image that was familiar when he said to his disciples: ‘You are the salt of the earth.’ This was his conception of their mission – their influence. They were to cleanse and sweeten the world in which they lived, to keep it from decay, and to give a new and more wholesome flavor to human existence. Their characters were not to be passive, but active. There is no use in saving salt for heaven. It will not be needed there. Its mission is to permeate, season, and purify things on earth.”