What It Truly Means To Be The Salt Of The Earth
"You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavour? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless." — Matthew 5:13
What does it truly mean to be the salt of the earth? Biblical exegesis is key when understanding this passage of Scripture. In this blog, I would like to share with you three different layers of meaning I found interesting when exploring this concept...
To Add Flavour:
The purpose of salt is to be salty. So, if salt were to lose its flavour, it would naturally lose its purpose. Likewise, as disciples of Christ, what good are we if we lose our God-given purpose? If we do not fulfil purpose and we do not bear fruit, then what use are we to God? If we want to prevent our walk with Jesus from losing its flavour, then we must constantly taste and see the goodness of God.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” — Psalms 34:8
In the same way that salt enhances and adds flavour, our lives should add something to the world. Salt exists purely to enrich; its purpose is to empty itself out for others. As the "salt of the earth" our lives should be used to serve one another. When we use the ingredients God has given us, others get the opportunity to also taste and see the goodness of God.
In biblical times, salt was frequently used as a preservative. As disciples of Christ, we must preserve the fullness of truth. If we're sugar-coating the Word of God, to conform to the world's standards, then we're not preserving the full truth. As the "salt of the earth", we must seek to be equally full of grace and full of truth.
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”— Colossians 4:6
We cannot simply water down or dilute the Word of God. When you add salt to water, the salt dissolves. In the same way, if you water down the Word of God, you will always end up dissolving its truth.
At the end of the day, it comes down to are you changing the Bible according to what you believe or are you changing what you believe according to the Bible? We cannot be the “salt of the earth” and at the same time, be lukewarm. We must preserve the apostolic truth.
To Prepare Sacrifices:
“You shall season all your cereal offerings with salt; you shall not let the salt of the covenant with your God be lacking from your cereal offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.” — Leviticus 2:13
According to Ancient Jewish Tradition, salt was also used to prepare sacrificial offerings. The priests in the Temple would season the offerings presented, to symbolise an everlasting salt covenant with God.
“You shall present them before the Lord, and the priests shall throw salt on them and offer them up as a burnt offering to the Lord.” — Ezekiel 43:24
As the “salt of the earth”, the disciples are called to season the world, preparing and sanctifying others, so that their lives may also be offered to the Lord as a pleasing and acceptable sacrifice. When our lives become salt offerings, presentable to God, we enter into a covenantal relationship with God.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” — Romans 12:1
As the "salt of the earth", we must consecrate our entire lives to the Lord. If we desire to share in the covenantal banquet in Heaven, then we must truly be the "salt of the earth." It is these good and faithful servants, who have not lost their flavour, that the Master will invite to sit at the Table of the Lord...
“For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” — Luke 22:27