You are the salt of the earth. Matthew 5:13
Several years ago my dad had a heart attack. I saw how my mom had to make changes to my dad’s diet. Lowering a person’s salt intake these days is tricky since salt is in so much of our food. My dad’s heart attack helped me to make healthier decisions for my family as well.
One day I was putting chips on my kids’ lunch plates and I glanced at the chip bag. In big letters across the bag it said “Lightly Salted”. Those two little words were a selling point for me in the grocery store. I know chips don’t qualify as healthy but lightly salted helped me feel like I was being a little healthier. At the moment I glanced at that chip bag the verse “You are the salt of the earth.” (Matthew 5:13) immediately came to my mind. But what does that mean? In the American culture today we take salt for granted. There is so much salt in nearly everything that we have forgotten the significance of it.
In Leviticus the people were instructed to season their offerings with salt. Even their grain offerings. Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings. Leviticus 2:13 Before I read this I had never heard of a covenant of salt. To understand this we need to remember what salt does. Salt purifies and preserves. It actually keeps bacteria from multiplying keeping the food pure which makes the food last longer. A salt covenant was an everlasting covenant of faithfulness. A covenant that should not be broken. Salt was used as a symbol of the everlasting covenant between God and His people which is why it was used on every offering, not just meat.
Salt was used to remove the impurities from food, so by adding salt to their offerings they were offering a pure sacrifice to the Lord. Salt was a must to present sacrifices pleasing to the Lord. In the same way the Gospel, salvation through Jesus Christ, is a must to present ourselves as a pleasing offering to the Lord. Through Jesus Christ, His work on the cross and resurrection, we have salvation. It is only through Jesus that we can come to the Father free of sin and guilt. It is only through this Gospel message that we have eternal life. It is only through Jesus that we can present our lives as a pure and acceptable offering to the Lord. Just as they had to present their offerings seasoned with salt we now present ourselves through Jesus, the one who gives eternal life.
Just as salt has purifying capabilities, so Jesus purifies us from sin. If the salt has to many impurities it loses it’s ability to keep bacteria from multiplying. Which means the food will not stay pure and will rot faster. The same is true if we do not keep our lives seasoned with Jesus. In other words, we need to keep living in the way Christ lived. Free of sin and loving others. We need to continue to follow the example of Christ in how He did what the Father wanted Him to do. We need to stay pure in our thoughts, speech and motive. If this sounds like to high of a standard don’t worry. Father God already knew we couldn’t (and shouldn’t) do it on our own strength. That’s why He sent us the Holy Spirit. If we strike out on our own strength and no longer live the way Christ lived, if we take our eyes off Jesus and live like the world then we are salt that is losing it’s saltiness. Aside from Jesus we can do nothing to become salty again.
So when the Bible says we are the salt of the earth this means we are an example of what purity should like. Jesus is that example for us but many in the world don’t see Jesus and don’t know if they believe He existed. They can’t argue that we exist when we are standing in front of them. We are living, breathing examples of what Jesus does in a person’s life. We shine pureness and we are testimonies of eternal life through Jesus. We are to offer our lives to the Lord as a living sacrifice. As we go through the fires and trials of life, the impurities are burned off and we are salted with goodness that comes from the Lord. We are salted by letting His unconditional love wash over us and capture our hearts. We are salted by accepting the good news of the gospel. We are salted by learning God is faithful to us through thick and thin. Through these trials God is purifying and preserving us. Once we are salted we are to go out to the world and share our salt with them, purifying and preserving them. It should be such an unusual and welcomed difference that the world sees in us, that it’s savory. They aquire a taste for it and want to see more. They want to know more.
I continuously strive to be like Jesus. Until then, lightly salt my food but may my walk with Jesus be heavily salted.
Read II Kings 2:19-22 How is Jesus like the salt in this story?
Have you seasoned your life by accepting Jesus as Lord of your life? If so, how has this changed you? If not, what is holding you back?
Ask the Lord if there is anything in your life making you lose your saltiness and ask Him for direction on how to become heavily salted.