SCRIPTURE TEXT: “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.” —Matthew 5:13
Knowing that His listeners were all familiar with these properties of salt, Jesus Christ looked at them and pronounced what floats to us Christians in this age with increased intensity: “you are the salt of the earth.”
All around us, the world shows signs of bitterness and decay. Whether it is in conflicts, or starvation, or natural disasters, or sickness, or death, there is very little that is savoury or hopeful anywhere these days.
Like a soup in need of seasoning or a soup gone bad, the earth groans for salt. It longs to have it poured out in appropriate measure to season, to cleanse, to heal, and to preserve.
Job asked the poignant question: “Is tasteless food eaten without salt?”- Job 6:6. Of course not! Many of us will rather sprinkle salt on already-cooked food served before us, than eat it in a tasteless state. We know that there is a better way, and we simply will not settle for what is before us, when we know what can be with the addition of salt. So also has the world seen how Christians can be a difference to the growing decay. Either through reading or observing the lives of Christ and genuine Christians, the world knows, and has a right to expect savour and healing from those who profess Christ. The world awaits the salt that is those called by Christ.
When Jesus declared us the “salt of the earth,” it is so that the world can be helped by our saltiness. By the declaration, He called our attention to that which we are; not what we can be, or ought to be; but what we should be on earth.
It does not therefore matter where we are—salt is needed everywhere regardless of time, space, race, or class. The rich, the poor, the literate, illiterate, old, young, all need salt in measured proportions, hence our influence is needed to season and preserve. Whether at home, at work, church, anywhere, we only need to look around us to see how easily things slide into decay and prevent this, or preserve whatever is left of the decay. Our presence is meant to enrich and cleanse.
One critical part of Christ’s declaration on the mount is that all who are called by His name, that is, all Christians are automatically the salt of the earth.