What it Means to be the Salt of the Earth

In teaching the disciples of The Kingdom of Heaven, what it looked like and how it operates, Jesusgave a grand analogy that the people of his day could draw upon to understand it fully. So few people in present day living grasp the richness of it because with the ways by which technology has advanced in society, we don’t readily visualize it as people of his day would.

Salt farmers harvesting salt, Pak Thale, Ban L...

Salt farmers harvesting salt, Pak Thale, Ban Laem, Phetchaburi, Thailand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the fifth chapter of the book of Matthew, Jesus delivers his message which is commonly referred to as the Sermon on the Mount. Beginning with the Beatitudes, Jesus shares how wholeness comes about. Following the Beatitudes are what is known as the Similitudes. This is where Jesus begins to lay out his analogy of how those who are of The Kingdom are both Salt and Light.

Salt is an amazing mineral. When most people today think about salt, what typically comes to mind most often is the substance that is found on the dining room table. It is used as a seasoning for flavoring foods and bringing out qualities that otherwise might not be experienced when eating certain foods. This lends to the notion that we are to go into the world and bring flavor to a bleak and bland world. That suggests that life outside of the Church is boring. This has been part of why Christians often fail to reach people; they see their lives as more exciting and thus are turned off by the idea that church can improve on a life that often appears better than the one being displayed before them.

While table salt might on the surface appear as though it would suffice on its own as a decent parallel, it does not fully depict the nature and character of a Kingdom person. A more accurate image of the kind of salt Jesus was speaking of would be the salts that came straight from the mines, in their rock formations perhaps or as butchers would use in the more common form of Kosher salt. This salt was used in the preparation of meats. Since there was no form of refrigeration in those days, the only way to keep meat from rotting before you were ready to cook and eat it was to cure it through a process by which you covered it completely in salt.

So then, when Jesus says, “if salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned…” what he is illustrating is that if salt loses its ability to preserve and prevent rotting as it is meant to do, then it is useless. As people of the Kingdom, we are meant to penetrate the deep recesses of the world, to infiltrate those places that are susceptible to rot, corrupt and corrode. We are a preservative and meant to be a cure for an ailing society. Let us in this season go into the world, not run from it and give the world what it needs. Let’s stop the rotting and reverse the curse.

QUESTION: What ways are you going about as salt of the earth?

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2 comments

  1. […] What it Means to be the Salt of the Earth (apreachaskid.wordpress.com) […]

  2. […] What it Means to be the Salt of the Earth (apreachaskid.wordpress.com) […]

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