How valuable is salt?
While there is some conflicting medical opinions, it is generally understood that some salt is necessary for life.
Terry Dasher writes, “40 million tons are required each year to fill our needs. Homer called it divine. Plato called it a “substance dear to the gods.” Shakespeare mentioned salt 17 times in his plays.”
” Perhaps Leonardo da Vinci wanted to send a subtle message about purity lost when he painted The last Supper. In that painting an overturned salt-cellar is conspicuously placed before Judas.”
“In ancient Greece a far-flung trade involving the exchange of salt for slaves gave rise to the expression, “…not worth his salt.”
“Special salt rations were given to Roman soldiers and known as “Solarium Argentums” the forerunner of the English word “salary.”
No wonder, Jesus in his famous Mountain Message compared the impact and influence of His disciples to salt.
“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” (Matt 5:13).
Consider four ways in which Christians are to be like salt.
(1) Salt suggests Purity
It’s glistening whiteness made the connection easy for the ancients. The Romans said that salt was the purest of all things, because it came from the sun and the sea. It was the most often used offering by primitive people to their gods. It was also used in the Levitical sacrifice in the Old Testament.
Like salt, Jesus’ disciples are to be pure. Earlier in this sermon the Savior spoke of purity of heart. Here he speaks to a purity of life. We are to be unmixed from the contamination of the world.
(2) Salt Preserves.
Salt was used to keep things from going bad. It preserved from corruption. If the Christian is to be the salt of the earth, he must have a certain antiseptic influence in life.
Christians should be a preserving influence in society. R.V.G. Tasker said that disciples are “to be a moral disinfectant in a world where moral standards are low, constantly changing, or nonexistent.
(3) Salt Flavors.
Food without salt is insipid. Christianity is to life what salt is to food.
Christians are not to be a kill joy, but to bring real joy to the world.
Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers.”
We promote a false narrative to the world when Christianity is presented as something that is bland, boring and banal.
(4) Salt produces thirst.
Movie theaters salt pop corn so heavy that you want to buy a soft drink to quench your thirst.
Robert Louis Stevenson once entered in his diary, as if we was recording an extra ordinary phenomena, “I have been to church today and I am not depressed.”
Are people thirsty for the spiritual “water of life” because of our influence?
Of course, salt that loses its saltiness is of no value. It has lost its function. Purpose. Distinctiveness. And salt that remains in the shaker cannot have an impact.
Likewise, we must retain our “saltiness” and maintain our distinctiveness if we are to impact the word for Christ.
Jesus said, “You are the salt of earth.” Are you?
–Ken Weliever, the Preacherman