“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.’ Matthew 5:13

How we feel about ourselves is extremely important in our family relationships, work relationships and virtually every other aspect of our daily lives. Psychologists refer to our view of ourselves as our ‘self-image’ and it includes our feelings, emotions, intellect and experiences growing up. It encompasses a person’s entire being.

Jesus often taught us about who we were when we lived in relationship with the Father. This week let’s take just five of these statements. I call them the five ‘You Are’ Statements of Jesus.

The first ‘You Are’ statement comes from Matthew 5:13. This passage is one of the beginning sections of the great ‘Sermon on the Mount’. Jesus says to his listeners, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.’

The first thing we need to do is to realize what salt meant to the people of Jesus’ day. Salt was extremely valuable, especially in the ancient world. In fact, its value cannot be under estimated. Roman soldiers received their wages in salt. The Greeks considered salt to be divine. The Mosaic Law required that all offerings presented by the Israelites contain salt. (Lev. 2:13)

When Jesus told his disciples that they were “the salt of the earth”, they understood the meaning of that statement. They were a valuable commodity! The same is true for us today. You need to realize that no matter where you are in life, Jesus Christ sees you as a thing of great value.

In our day, salt may not hold the same value as in Jesus’ day, but it still has many useful analogies for our lives. Salt enhances the flavor of our food.  In the same way, we as believers in Jesus Christ are called on to add flavor to the lives of those around us. When I was in college a friend of mine came to my apartment to babysit my two small children while I went out. When I returned, she had taken it upon herself to make Peanut Butter cookies for the new boyfriend she wanted to impress. She offered me a cookie and it was a good thing she did! She had mistaken the container of salt for sugar. The cookies were inedible because they were all salt.

A good lesson for us to learn is that salt, when used properly, is not overpowering. Some foods require more salt than others. Some require less. In our life situations we need to seek Godly wisdom to know how to add just the right amount of salt to each situation; in other words, just the right amount of living our faith is important to show the love of Christ to others.

Not only does salt add flavor to food, and life, it also acts as a preservative. Those listening to Jesus knew the preserving function of salt. Salt was added to fish and other foods in order to keep it from spoiling in the hot, Judean sunshine. We, in turn need to make a stand for what is right in our world. However we should do so in a loving, gentle manner. That means we take a stand for God’s Word without being judgmental and offensive. Jesus exemplified this by the fact that he was a friend of sinners.

Jesus says one more thing about salt. He offers us something of a warning when he says, “But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”

Jesus warns us that salt can become contaminated, corrosive and even poisonous. When this happens, it’s worthless and must be thrown out. It’s so worthless it can’t even be used on fields as fertilizer. This thing of great value can become a thing of danger or disappointment.

Sometimes we make decisions and choices that destroy our testimony for Christ. We lose, in a sense, our saltiness through disobedience. The good news is that there is always hope. You can never be so ‘un-salty’ that God cannot use you! I John 1:9 reminds us that if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. Confession and repentance restores our saltiness so we can be used effectively by God. It may take some time for others to trust us. It may take some time for this new saltiness to make a difference. But we can know, because of God’s promises, that he will restore us completely through his Grace and the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.

My prayer for you today is that you will be salt to those around you. If you have lost that saltiness I pray you will go to the Father and ask Jesus for forgiveness. Jesus didn’t say ‘some of you’ are salt, he said YOU are the salt of the earth, and if he says it, it must be true.

PRAYER: Father God I pray for those struggling today. I thank you that we are the salt of the earth. Help us to be that flavor in our relationships that brings others to saving faith in you. Amen.

Advertisements