You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, . . . it is then good for nothing. —Matthew 5:13
What did Jesus mean when He told His followers that they were “the salt of the earth”? (Matthew 5:13). In the ancient world, salt had many uses. For one, it preserved food. Without salt, meat and fish would quickly spoil. In a similar way, Christians who uphold God’s moral standards can slow the decay of society.
Salt was also used as fertilizer. Until the mid-1900s, English farmers added salt to their fields to increase the yield. Salt helped crops to grow. Christians too can encourage the growth of what is good wherever they live.
Salt also brings out the flavor of food. By their witness, salty believers help the people around them to taste life fully as God intended.
Yet Jesus warned that salt can lose its flavor. Pure salt as we know it, made up of sodium chloride, can’t lose its taste. In ancient Israel, however, farmers would dig salt from the shores of the Dead Sea. Although it was called salt and looked like salt, it was mixed with other substances. Farmers would make a pile of the salty material to use on their crops, but when the rains came, the pure salt would sometimes drain away. What was left looked like salt, but it had lost its saltiness.
What about you? Are you a salty Christian?
Keep our witness bright and clear,
So the world may see and hear
God’s salvation far and near—
That others too may know Him. —Hess
A salty Christian makes others thirsty for Jesus, the Water of Life.