13 You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt becomes useless, in what way will it be made salty again? Having lost its’ strength it is useless, except to be thrown out to be trampled underfoot by men.
Salt is a very valuable commodity, yet it is quite inexpensive, because there are vast quantities of salt deposits in various parts of the world.
There are many different uses for salt, including cleaning, preserving, relief from stings and bites.
Perhaps the most common use is for flavouring food. Where salt is absent, food can taste bland, or insipid. When buying fish and chips we are usually asked if we would like salt and vinegar on them, to make them tastier.
We soon know when salt is absent.
Jesus tells us that we are the salt of the earth, but He also tells us that salt can lose its saltiness, it can become useless, and have no effect.
Apparently, salt is a very stable element, and the only way in which it can appear to lose its saltiness is for it to be diluted in water, but in reality it does not lose its saltiness.
Therefore, we must ask what did Jesus mean when He spoke about salt losing its saltiness?
W Barclay relates something that E F F Bishop wrote in his book Jesus of Palestine. He states that most ovens in Palestine were outside, and were built of stone. Underneath the oven was a thick layer of salt, which helped the oven retain its heat. After some time the salt perished and had to be replaced; the old salt was thrown out onto the pathway and trodden underfoot.
It is possible that Jesus was referring to this practice.
Every Christian, once they are born again is filled with the salt of Jesus, and we must be vigilant in maintaining His saltiness within us. He is the foundation of salt that enables us to remain hot for Him. It is important that we do not lose our first love for Jesus. We need to be sure that we do not become like the church at Laodicea, to whom Jesus said:
15 I know the things you do, that you are neither cold or boiling hot. Would that you were cold or boiling hot.
16 Since you are tepid, being neither boiling hot or cold, I am about to vomit you out of My mouth – Revelation 3.15-16.