“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 on by men.”
You are the salt of the earth. Unfortunately, the perception of salt in our culture has substantially weakened the significance of Jesus’ statement. For us, salt is cheap, plentiful, and easily accessible.
However, in Christ’s day, salt was a necessity of life. It was vital in the preservation of food. So much so that great value was placed on it. In fact, it was so valuable that sometimes it was used as money.
One commentator wrote: “The Roman soldiers of Jesus day were at times paid with it. In fact our word salary comes from the Latin word salarium which referred to the payments made to soldiers with salt.”
The value of salt begins to take on greater value and meaning when one must depend on it to preserve food and provide for one’s family.
However, Jesus, likely had more than salt’s value in mind when he declared “You are the salt of the earth.” He also understood its usefulness.
Today, when describing uses for salt, most people immediately describe its application as a flavoring as its greatest benefit. In Christ’s day, however, salt’s capacity to preserve was its greatest asset.
Salt was important to survival. It was their only method to preserve meat. Salt would be rubbed into meat prior to being stored and the salt would then hinder the decaying process.
As Christians we have the responsibility of “hindering the decaying process” that prevails within our culture by opposing the immorality so prevalent in our society and standing for righteousness.
We certainly should not be joining in and facilitating the depravation. Paul wrote in Colossians 2:20-21:
“Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belong to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”
Our function, as salt, is to be a preserving agent in our culture by living righteous lives guided by the Word of God.
Pastor Scott Burr