"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 5:16
Jesus often used natural objects in His teachings such as birds of the air, flowers of the field, mountains, wheat fields, etc. One of the figures of speech that speaks about our role in the world is "salt of the earth," from the Sermon on the Mount.
I love the way Jesus teaches. We all know what salt is, but what does it have to do with our Christian life besides the fact that we probably all eat too much of it? Jesus forces us to do a little research to get the full meaning behind the words, especially since we're not living in the culture of the first century.
Dick Eastman helps us here when he observes that:
"In this statement Christ likens the Christian's existence on earth to common salt. What do we know about salt? For one thing, salt is made from two vastly different elements: the active metal, sodium, and the deadly gas, chlorine. These unique forces combine to make a substance common to every household.
Why did Jesus use salt as an example of our work on earth? Perhaps because salt adds flavor, making otherwise tasteless food more "tasty." Thus, the believer's function on earth is to add flavor. Our presence on the earth, then, makes the earth acceptable to God. If believers were removed, God would have no choice but to destroy it."
"There is, perhaps, a greater function of salt. It restrains the process of spoiling. Years ago, before refrigeration, salt was used to preserve meat on long voyages across the ocean and over land. Here we discover another reason Christ has positioned Christians on this planet. We not only make earth acceptable to God, but we preserve the work of God around the world.
And not only do we preserve it, we spread it. Our mission as Christians, then, is vital. We are to spread the message of God's love to every person on earth, thus increasing the earth's supply of spiritual 'salt.' We are, in a sense, salt manufacturers."*
Well, let me ask us a question. How are we doing at manufacturing salt? The world needs it. Let's share Jesus Christ with someone today and bring some flavor into their lives.
*Dick Eastman, Changing the World School of Prayer, p. 146