The Parable of Salt of the Earth
“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”.
I read recently that many young people today don’t use or understand the old phrases and idioms so this one, ‘salt of the earth’, first published in English in the 14th century, has got no chance by today’s younger generation!
Yet, it is such an important phrase straight out of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. One of the points he was making is that salt was used as a preservative – no refrigerators and freezers back then. Back in Jesus day, salt was such an important ingredient to preserve food.
Has anyone ever referred to you as being “the salt of the earth”? In a non-biblical context, being called ‘the salt of the earth’ is a compliment meaning that someone has a lot of respect for you and see you as the type of person who deals with difficult or demanding situations without making a fuss.
Jesus charged his disciples, in those early days of Christianity, to bring flavour to their faith by serving him, to deal with the difficulties and challenges of being a follower and to amplify God’s grace as they embarked on the monumental task of evangelising the world.
Jesus also wants his believers today to be the salt of the earth. At this point in the passage Jesus, rather than talking about preservatives, is now talking about seasoning. If you’re like my favourite TV chef, James Martin, you’ll be generous in adding salt whilst cooking your favourite dish ensuring you add flavour to the food. Similarly, he wants to pay us a compliment when we add lots of flavour to our faith.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to be the salt of the earth as we seek to follow you and find better ways to share your good news with others. Amen.
Action: Share something of your faith with someone who doesn’t have a faith in God (preferably over some food!).
This Thought was written by Ian McLaughlan