“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” (Matthew 5:13)
Have you ever been out to a restaurant and ordered fries, but when they got there they didn’t taste right? Then it hits you, there is no salt on these fries. Fries without salt are just greasy potatoes, but add salt and they are irresistible deliciousness, even if they are not the best for your health.
Today, it is no problem just to reach across the table for the salt shaker and put some on, but in the days when Jesus spoke these words recorded in Mathew 5 salt was a valued commodity. We eat salt every day, but in the first century, people were lucky to get salt once or twice a month. It was so highly valued that the Roman army paid their soldiers with it. This is where the expression “worth your salt” comes from. If a commander was happy with what he saw in battle, he would say that the soldier was “worth his salt.”
What did Jesus mean when He said we needed to be the salt of the world? Salt makes food taste good and we, as it were, make the world taste good. This means that we are to be a good influence to those around us. As Christians, we are instructed in the Bible to be kind, helpful, and do other things that show the glory of God to the world. This is one explanation about what Jesus meant when He commanded us to be the salt of the earth.
When you taste salt in food, you instantly know what it is; it stands out. This is how it should be with the world when they see us. They should instantly know that we are Christians by the way we act. Unfortunately, some Christians try to be camouflage and fit in with the world, but this is in direct contradiction of this verse. As Christians, we need to stand out and act different, even if everyone else is not.
Salt, to most people, tastes good, and we hope that most people still enjoy being around people who are trying to be salt like Jesus commanded. Sadly, some people claim to be Christians on Sunday, but the people that only see them the rest of the week would never know that they were Christians at all. We need to be the people that act differently than the world, and not just on Sunday, but every day.
In the verse we started with, Jesus said that salt without flavor is useless. It would be thrown out and men would walk on it. Christian, have you lost your saltiness? What do you taste like?