Matthew 5.13 cont.
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.
The term ‘salt of the earth’ has passed into general conversation. Often when someone has done somebody else a kindness they will call them the salt of the earth.
Whereas this is a kind and generous thing to say of someone else, we need to understand what Jesus meant when He called His disciples the ‘salt of the earth’.
This means that we need to know what the disciples would have understood by this term.
Salt was used in sacrifice, and we learn this from Leviticus 2.13:
Season all your grain offerings with salt, to remind you of God’s covenant. Never forget to add salt to your grain offerings – (NLT).
Salt was a reminder of the goodness of God; it was a reminder of how God had chosen them to be His people; how
He had delivered them from Egypt; how He had made a covenant that He would be their God and they would be His people to be a light to the Gentiles.
This foreshadowed how God, in Jesus, chose us in the New Covenant, to be a holy people and a royal priesthood.
As the salt of the earth believers have to be pure and holy, being perfect even as our Father is perfect.
Being the salt of the earth has to be seen in what we say and what we do, which will always seek to bring honour and glory to Jesus, through whom we have been brought into God’s New Covenant.
Until the coming of the fridge and freezer, salt was the main means of preserving food. I remember putting runner beans in jars of salt in order to preserve them for eating throughout the winter.
Jesus has put within us, the salt of the earth, His word. As the salt of the earth we are entrusted with keeping the purity of God’s word. One of the compliments that Jesus paid His disciples was that they kept the Father’s word (John 17.6).
May each one of us always seek to maintain the truth of God’s word, to keep it undiluted, remembering that:
The word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are – Hebrews 4.12 (NLT).